KOSHISH, mental health self help group, Nepal
KOSHISH means ‘making an effort’ or ‘trying’ in Nepali and it is the first mental health self-help organisation in Nepal fighting to improve mental health policies, quality of care, and to challenge prejudice and discrimination suffered by people affected by mental illness.
Matrika Devkota, the founder of KOSHISH and a leading advocate on mental health issues says that one of the worst things for people who are suffering mental illness is the stigma attached to the illness purely through ignorance and prejudice. KOSHISH’s mission is to educate, raise awareness and promote understanding by talking openly about mental illness, proper diagnoses, treatment and counselling and the importance of family support.
KOSHISH is continues to campaign with the Ministry of Health and Population to implement the 1996 National Mental Health Policy, which is now under review.
We are grateful to our lead partner in Nepal, DHRC-Nepal who made us aware of the challenges faced by people with mental illness and introduced us to KOSHISH. In DDP's first project partnership enabled by support from Jersey Overseas Aid Commission we provided financial and capacity building support for KOSHISH to set up Nepal’s first ever mental health drop in day centre which led directly to the setting up of a transit centre for mentally ill women made destitute, forced out of homes and marriages through sheer ignorance or helplessness on the part of families.
KOSHISH continues to advocates for more services throughout the country and at the same time endeavours to follow up on the well-being of the many women they have helped to reintegrate back into their families.
Matrika Devkota was awarded the 2013 Dr Guislain Award for his tireless fight against the stigma that is attached to mental illness and to empower those suffering from mental illness to serve as self advocates.
DDP is currently supporting KOSHISH and the transit centre thanks to a grant from The Peter Stebbings Memorial Charity.