Do shelter homes recover mental health? A case study on women with mental illness in rural community

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Archana Nagwanshi


Women come under the vulnerable group. In India, they are more vulnerable, because of the socio-economic condition and the cultural constraints. So, mental illness makes it even worse. Mental illness is attached with stigma, not only in India but the world over. All mental illness does not lead to psychiatric disability. Illness like Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder leads to psychiatric disability which causes problems in all areas of their daily living. It causes discomfort to them as well as significant others. So, when it comes to a woman, she is more affected because society expects her to behave in certain way. When she has a psychiatric disability, she becomes psycho-socially disabled, because psychologically and socially she is not able to perform properly.  When she does not perform her role, the family members have problems. Many of them are sent to rehabilitation homes. This study is about 3 women with in the age group of 33 – 50 years, who have been in Home for Children and Adults, which is the rehabilitation home for mentally ill in Coimbatore. The family members feel that, they are better off in the rehabilitation home than they are in their own. Is it that they are not wanting the women back, because of social stigma? Some are mothers, grandmothers and some are unmarried. This case study will talk about various aspects of their lives. How they are adjusting to rehabilitation and how the agency takes care of their needs. The paper also suggests the scope of future research in this area.

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