FAmilies AllianCE on Mental Illness

FACEMI National Network

FACEMI is the first national forum in India for the families that are engaged in taking care of treatment, rehabilitation and support for family member/s suffering from mental illness such as Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar (Severe Mental Disorders, SMD) and Common mental disorders (CMD) such as Anxiety, Depression, OCD etc. Family care has gained worldwide recognition as being most cost-effective and supportive practice, garnering attention of professionals and non-professionals alike.

Despite being the largest care model for persons with mental illness (PMI), Family Care is a cached reality in India owing to the mythological popularity of the terms “Community Care” and “Institutional Care”. The Voice of the family care givers  could never be heard by the policy makers, govt. officials  and the legal experts , not to speak of the other decision making authorities in the government. Thanks to the UN CRPD, the rise of family pressure groups and lobbies  in disabilities such as the Vision Impaired, Ortho handicap, Speech Impaired ,  Autism and MR never happened among the MI families. The social reality of stigma and the  proximity of the professionals to the epicenter of power resulted in the absence of any forum for the cause of mental illness and disorders. 

Set up  by Dr. Nirmala Srinivasan (Ashoka Fellow)  as an integral  part  of the advocacy initiative  Action for Mental Illness, (ACMI), this national alliance is a lobby to strengthen the role of the families to access  quality care for  all the  persons under psychiatric treatment  or  in need of one. It is important to note that the National Mental Health Policy 2014, upholds the principles of Family Care as the foremost care model in India. Nothing could be put to practice because most families are  not aware of it; nor were they aware of the global impact of UN CRPD ushering in an era of rights based legislation for PMI. Worse still, was the apathy of the mental health community to the rights based approach that was gaining momentum in the disability and health policies of the government.  

FACEMI NATIONAL NETWORK was initiated as a collaborative venture of family care giver NGOs on Jan 26th 2013 under the leadership of  Dr.Nirmala Srinivasan . It was expected to provide a official platform for the affected families to lobby for the rights of PMI just like in the case of the other disabilities , HIV/AIDS , TB and Cancer lobbies.  It was officially launched on Sept 12th 2015 with generous sponsorship from Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India. (See the Launch Photos in the Gallery).

FACEMI Vision is to ensure a stigma free environment for MI and Inclusive Family Practices.

FACEMI  Mission is to become a strong national movement of families and promote FAMILY CARE model as a force to reckon with.

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