White Swan Foundation for Mental Health

The recent suicide of Hollywood star Robin Williams once again garnered a lot of press about the urgency to take mental health issues seriously. Stories like that of Robin Williams often gives people a false impression that mental health issues are a predominantly western affliction where materialism has led people to problems like depression. The truth is that India has a huge mental health issue.

It is estimated that more than 20% Indians suffer from a mental illness. That is a staggering 240 million people. If we assume that for every person with mental illness, there are 2-3 people who play the role of caregivers, we are talking about 60-80% of Indians being impacted by mental health issues!

Mental healthcare has lagged its counterparts in healthcare sector in building awareness among the public. There’s a widespread ignorance about what mental health is and what could be done to deal with problems of mental health. The issue is further compounded by the prevalence of social stigma, which, in turn, results in self-denial. It is, therefore, no surprise that more than 50% of serious mental disorders and 90% of common mental disorders go untreated in India!

A big problem we have in dealing with mental health issues is inadequate access to knowledge on the subject. What happens when we have people who are ignorant? They deny themselves access to solutions. It is not a coincidence that for a population of 1.2 billion people, we have only 4,500 psychiatrists! Because we do not know about the problem and the solutions that exist, we do not demand services and because we do not demand services, there is no supply of service providers.
white swan

It is only by placing knowledge in the hands of the people – patients, their caregivers or the public at large – that we would be able to take the first steps towards fighting mental illness. It is a knowledge-empowered society that can demand (and, therefore, receive) better quality services.

White Swan Foundation for Mental Health has been created to fulfill this dream.

White Swan Foundation has partnered with National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), India’s pioneering mental health hospital, in its pursuit to develop this unique knowledge repository.

Before the end of this year, White Swan Foundation will release its first mental health knowledge platform – a portal, targeting the youth living in the tier 1 and 2 cities of India. In the coming years, White Swan Foundation dreams of delivering knowledge on mental health and wellbeing to each and every Indian.

White Swan Foundation is building capacity in creating rich content and developing technology-driven media platforms to offer its knowledge services to people. It has attracted experienced journalists, writers and other communication experts who are shaping knowledge on mental health that a common man can understand and leverage value from.

Most of us seem to have a view on mental illness. We carry the baggage of myths and misconceptions. When we empower ourselves with the right set of knowledge and learn about the possibilities, we realize how wrong we have been. Changing the mindset of the society on mental health will begin with each one of us. Please visit http://www.whiteswanfoundation.org and spread the word.

Bhalchander Vishwanath Says
Saturday September 20th 2014

Congratulations to Mr. Bagchi for supporting this. It is much needed in India.

shivendra kumar Says
Sunday September 21st 2014

Could also have done with Ranchi.

Anirban Says
Wednesday October 29th 2014

Thanks Sir for writing on this subject. I came across a child with Autism many years back. Since then me and my wife have tried to do whatever we could for this cause of mental health. We have started a non profit trust Akshadhaa Foundation which teaches children with Autism and other neuro developmental disabilities and aims to equip them with a vocation for their lives. We still have a lot to do in this field and initiatives like White swan is very encouraging.

chandrashekhar Says
Tuesday December 30th 2014

Hi sir,
i would like study about bhagath sing shall you suggest which books give the total view about bhagath sing

dr.sarala radhakrishna Says
Tuesday March 10th 2015

tell me how i can contribute.

tapas nath Says
Tuesday August 18th 2015

heartening to know that mental health is getting the attention it deserves indeed there are many stigmas attached to this illness all steming from lack of scientific knowlg. I have a 21 yr old son with mental health issues being treated at nimhans. some goal oriented progm will definitely be helpful. let me know if I can help in any way

Santhosh Says
Monday September 28th 2015

Health minister in a recent speech stressed the stats presented in a committee in 2005. We can get good informative content from White swan foundation and talk to counsellor anonymously at http://www.yourdost.com
Many have social stigma to reach out to psychologist. so, this can be best channel for them to reach a psychologist.

Radhika Says
Monday December 28th 2015

Great job. Its needed in India.


Tuesday May 3rd 2016

White Swan Foundation is a very good approach to solve mental health problems. Folks like https://justdoc.com also provide professional counselling and together this will solve a lot of latent problem.

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