KOSHISH means ‘making an effort’, and is the first mental health self-help organization in Nepal fighting to improve mental health policy, quality of care, and to challenge prejudice and discrimination suffered by people affected by mental illness.

Matrika Devkota, 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 diagnosis, treatment and counselling, and the importance of family support.

In our first project partnership, enabled by support from Jersey Overseas Aid, DDP provided financial and capacity-building support for KOSHISH to set up Nepal’s first mental health drop-in day centre, which has evolved into 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. Following their stay, the women are helped to reintegrate back into their families and communities.

KOSHISH continues to advocate for mental health services throughout the country and provides a free psychosocial support helpline. And with the generous support of funders including the Japanese Embassy in Nepal, the Weight We Carry, and the Nick Simons Foundation, KOSHISH has built an amazing permanent community-based therapeutic centre as a home for its work. Read more about the Emergency Care Centre and please get in touch if you would like to help support this work.