Our #HumansCare feature this week shines a spotlight on the importance of academic alliances to build evidence to underpin our work, and the people who dedicate their time and effort to our cause – extending their research and skills to help raise awareness, build the capacity of family carers and lobby for the support that they need.
Dr N Janardhana, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatric Social Work at NIMHANS in Bangalore has worked tirelessly to support our research efforts, champion our cause right from the beginning and help attract public attention on a national scale.
Working in the field of mental health and neurosciences, he has spoken widely about the positive impact created by supporting the carers of people with mental illness. He says that caring for a person with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, is usually long-term and can become exhausting for the caregiver in the long run.
Recognising that carers are often required to give up work, become restricted to the home and face social isolation, Dr Janardhana advocates that Carers Worldwide can reconnect them within their communities and create support systems that help them to live a fulfilling life alongside their caring responsibilities. He recognises that with appropriate community acknowledgement and support, carers feel relieved, less stigmatised and not so isolated.
“Caregivers need to be recognised and identified, as they are the workforce relieving government responsibility of providing care for disabled, chronically ill and the elderly” Dr N Janardhana – NIMHANS
Many mental health problems (such as depression, schizophrenia and others) can be effectively treated by working together with people who experience mental illness in their own homes and communities, using local resources, professionals help and support networks that are available to them. He believes that the role that Carers Worldwide plays is integral to supporting family carers who are ultimately responsible for the delivery of such care.
Entirely committed to building local capacity and engaging carers to inform and direct the support that they need, his mantra is “Nothing about us, without us” meaning that carers must be included and their voices must be heard, if effective progress is to be made.
With support from Dr Janardhana and his networks, we are able to further build evidence to support our advocacy efforts alongside our partner organisations and the community of carers themselves. Together we are creating awareness-raising campaigns that provide a platform for carers to be heard and disseminating collective knowledge and skills that will support and empower family carers in the long-term.
We are grateful for his association with us and look forward to working with Dr Janardhana and his team at NIMHANS for many years to come.