NGO to provide low-cost counselling to mental health patients across city
Adults suffering from mental disabilities and in need of counselling for emotional, financial and sexuality-related issues will now be able to avail these services at a low cost, courtesy a city-based NGO and trust’s initiative called Adult Support Kendra.
As part of the initiative, counsellors will offer their services at centres in Chembur, Worli, Grant Road and Juhu to help adults with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy and Down’s syndrome.
“When people with special needs enter adulthood, their priorities change. They have concerns about their employment prospects, financial stability and intimacy in relationships. While there are many centres in the city to help children with special needs, there are not many for adults,” said Parul Kumtha, founder of Forum for Autism, which has started the initiative along with Yash Charitable Trust. “They often go through extreme emotional distress but are unable to express them as society constantly treats them like children.”
Sushma Nagarkar, a psychologist, said these adults are often unable to verbally express their anxieties but may convey them through certain behaviour.
Dr Koyeli Sengupta, a psychiatrist, said there is a demand for such counselling services for disabled adults. “Many are likely to be dealing with depression and anxiety. I hope this initiative is replicated,” she said.
World Autism Day is marked internationally on April 2.