Gender And Mental Health Project

Program aims to create an ecosystem to make mental well-being accessible to marginalized communities, especially women, in the districts of Bandipora and Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Building capacities of young rural women on gender and mental health who will work in their respective communities to promote mental health awareness and address gender-based violence. These women will work with their immediate peers and conduct various activities on gender and mental health issues in their respective communities. They will create and facilitate in ‘safe spaces’ in their communities to help young women share and discuss their challenges and take collective initiatives to mitigate the gender gap and stigma associated with mental health issues. SKY Trust will guide them throughout the year to address issues in their communities.

MHM survey

  Menstruation and menstrual practices still face many social, cultural and religious restrictions which are a big barrier in the path of menstrual hygiene management. In rural areas menstruators are not prepared and aware about menstruation so they face many difficulties and challenges at home, schools and work places. The survey was conducted by SKY TRUST in 9 rural villages of districts Baramulla and Bandipora. 158 menstruators were surveyed.

The objective of the survey was to do assessment of knowledge and practice of menstrual hygiene among rural women and to understand the critical areas or challenges and find out possible areas of intervention.

The data obtained has been collected in following domains:
  • Socio-economic status
  • Reproductive health
Following are the possible areas of intervention:
  • a) Awareness
  • b) Lack of support
  • c) Linkage
  • d) Materials

Menstrual Hygiene Management - Let Us Talk About It:

The main objectives of the campaign were following:

  • To break silence on menstruation
  • To raise awareness on Menstrual Hygiene Management
  • To advocate the MHM friendly environment
  • To capacitate 40 village volunteers on MHM.
About Campaign:-

Menstrual Hygiene Management “let us talk about it” was launched to create a society with informed youth and citizens with sensitivity towards sustainability and gender equity. We reached out to 1900 girls and women in 40 villages in Baramulla and Bandipora districts with awareness camps on menstrual health and hygiene management with special focus on Premenstrual Syndrome and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and reusable sanitary napkins distribution. These reusable sanitary napkins are eco-friendly and user friendly. The napkins were given to all 1900 participants free of cost during the program. Every event included 5 major sections

  • 01. Introduction
  • 02. Icebreaking Activity
  • 03. Nutrition
  • 04. Physiology of Menstruation
  • 05. Menstrual Management
  • 06. Premenstrual Syndrome and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
  • 07. Poster Distribution
  • 08. Hygiene
  • 09. Dialogue session on “myths and taboo associated with Menstruation”.
  • 10. Distributing the kits
  • 11. Question and Answer Session
  • 12. Feedback

Medical camp

Medical Camp was organized in Kinyari area of Baramulla. Health professional including Cardiologists, ENT, Dentists, gynecologists, urologists etc. carried out health checkup of more than 1000 people of the area. Medicines were also provided free of cost. in health and hygiene camp women of the area were made aware of ways to maintain personal and environmental hygiene and its importance.

Mental Health Awareness

Due to continuing conflict in Kashmir during the last 18 years there has been a phenomenal increase in psychiatric morbidity. According to the media reports, 20000 people attempted suicide during 14 years (2001-2015) of turmoil in Kashmir. 3000 died. Reasons behind are many. 90% suffer from depression. 9.6% of women in the age group of 10 49 experience domestic violence according to national family health survey. Depression is much higher in rural area (84.73%) as compared to urban areas (15.26%). In rural areas the prevalence of depression among females is higher (93.10%) as compared to males (6.8%). Mental health has been neglected for far too long. In spite of eleven fold increase in psychiatric disease due to ongoing conflict, tremendous stressful conditions, overwhelming fear and uncertainty during the last 18 years, not much attention is being paid to expand and modernize the present infrastructure. Mental health crisis lead to spurt in suicides in Kashmir due to conflict and two long periods of lockdown. Young boys, girls, women and even elderly individuals started taking their own lives. The city of 1.2 million has been reporting one or two suicides on an average every week

Sky Trust organised a series of online mental health awareness workshops to raise awareness about mental health and to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and illness and to promote ways of supporting each other. Total 150 participants including students, youth, organisations, community based stake holders.

The aim was to improve health and quality of life for people affected by mental health disorders. Ms. Aastha Ajay, a clinical psychologist and co-founder at Evolve lives facilitated workshops. Workshops started with the basic prospect of health and the factors it is based on, she covered concerning and important topics like anxiety, depression and some commonly spread myths in detail. She continued the workshops discussing causes of mental illness and how it is being spread among the different age groups. She discussed the symptoms, causes, consequences and prevention of mental disorders. In the end, she answered the queries in details raised by the participants. She concluded the workshops by emphasizing that people should be more attentive towards mental health fitness.