Project Prethiksha (Hope in Malayalam)

Problem statement: High prevalence of mental health issues among youth in marginalized communities without adequate access to support is a crises grappling Kerala's health indicators. The state faces a mental health crisis, with a significant percentage of the population, especially students, requiring professional help and community support.

Target group: Marginalized youth, specifically youth in orphanages and old age homes.

Proposed solution: We support vulnerable individuals who are at increased risk of mental health problems due to lack of resources and social support.

Hub activities: Prethiksha offers mental wellness programs utilizing art therapy, interactive games, and community storytelling to enhance mental health. Our hub provides engaging, therapeutic activities and educational workshops tailored to the needs of the youth, promoting emotional and social well-being. Art therapy sessions, storytelling and sharing circles, interactive games, and mind and body workshops are other activities executed on a contextual basis. We also plan hosting online workshops, conducting awareness campaigns in educational institutions, providing resources for art therapy, and recruiting mental health professionals for workshops. 5

Goals: We hope to see a reduction in the prevalence of mental health issues, improved emotional literacy, and stronger community bonds among the youth. Short-term: Increase access to mental health resources and support for marginalized youth. Long-term: Establish a comprehensive repository of mental wellness professionals and resources within Kerala to aid ongoing support and education.

Available metrics: Participant feedback, pre- and post-activity surveys, engagement levels, and follow-up assessments. Improvement in self-reported mental health metrics, and positive community feedback.

Collaborators: Collaborations with local educational institutions, mental health professionals, and non-profit organizations dedicated to youth welfare. Partners to date: Don Bosco-Palluruthy, Shanthi Bhavan-Kochi, and other local schools and mental health advocacy groups.