Anjali has adopted a four-fold strategy towards its vision of developing an inclusive, rights-based system of care and treatment for people with mental illness:
- Partnership with the government to ensure optimal outreach and changes within the system.
- Building new alliances with policy makers, civil society actors, media and young persons to develop a mental health policy for India
- Moving the mental health discourse into the rights framework through its Mental Health and Human Rights Initiative, Twilight Claims
- Deepening the civic engagement of young citizens – developing cohorts of young mental health activists that build local bases of knowledge and empathy for person with mental illness and ensure the timely treatment of mentally ill persons in their neighbourhood
Anjali is the first organization in the country to work in partnership with the state government of West Bengal, operating inside the state hospital premises and using state infra-structure and professionals, rather than creating parallel systems such as a half-way home. This strategy promotes optimal use of available resources and ensures that the state does not withdraw from its responsibility towards health, especially for the most marginalized communities.
Anjali has been able to reach out extensively to poor and middle class patients in rural and suburban West Bengal, riding on the extensive flank of the state-run health systems. Since there is a strong tendency to not spend family/personal resources on patients with mental disabilities, there is acute dependency on subsidized government care for the mentally ill. Thus, Anjali sees a strategic advantage in re-directing an existing system of care, rather than creating new systems.
While the rehabilitation and re-integration of recovered patients in half-way homes costs approximately USD 2100 per patient, per year, Anjali’s services total USD 870 per person, per year, due to its partnership with the government health systems.
Another important reason to partner with government hospitals emerges from the acknowledgement that state institutions have historically oppressed and abused people with mental illness. Anjali introduces innovative therapies and curative interventions within the functioning of an entrenched state system of health care, while at the same time, critiquing government practices through its advocacy programs.