Sita can no longer remember when she was first diagnosed with schizophrenia:

I had a constant fear of dying. I felt my life was just not worth living. I wanted to disappear, not be in this world anymore.

Despite her illness, the 60-year-old mother and grandmother is the head of a large household with six children and grandchildren under her care. Sita, who is a farmer and never had a chance to go to school and learn how to read and write, lives in a rural district of Eastern Nepal, where there is no mental health support or trained mental health doctors or nurses.

In most of South Asia there is a close link between mental illness and poverty, homelessness, and disadvantage. These factors are even more apparent in the district Sita lives, which has one of the highest incidents of mental health problems in the country, especially among women of working age.

When there’s mental illness in the family it is often women and girls who suffer the most. Gender discrimination, violence, and child marriage put women and girls in rural areas of Nepal at elevated risk of struggling with mental illness themselves.

This was the basis for launching our free, walk-in mental health clinics for local communities run by trained health professionals and local community workers.

Sita has been visiting our clinic since 2019.

“My life has changed since I started being seen by the nurses and doctors. I feel so much safer. I no longer think about killing myself, and I can now properly look after my children and grandchildren. My life is still hard, but I feel supported and no longer fearful.”

Since the start of our free mental health clinics in 2019, suicide rates in this region  have dropped by a staggering 77%.

This is an extraordinary achievement. But much remains to be done. Thousands of people living in rural, remote areas of the world continue having no one to turn to for help and support with their mental health problems. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death of both men and women in dozens of countries, yet governments remain reluctant to invest in this important, but hugely ignored area of care. This is despite every minute, three people, somewhere in the world, ending their lives.

With your support, we can continue saving people like Sita, and help reducing this shocking statistic.

Please donate now  and share our story with your family and friends

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From all of us,
thank you for your support and Merry Christmas.