THE world around us is undergoing rapid changes, from extreme weather conditions to increasing unemployment in marginalized communities. For the poor and underprivileged, when life comes crashing down, the consequences are difficult to cope with. But this is made worse by the lack of support and assistance to overcome severe psychological or psychiatric struggles caused by medical problems, unemployment, unrest or extreme poverty. 

We all struggle with mental health concerns. But all around us, there are people from marginalized communities who are not just struggling with mental health disorders, but are being exploited because of it.

First observed in 1949 by an organization called Mental Health America, Mental Health Month is observed throughout the month of May to raise awareness on mental health struggles and how we can come together to provide the resources and care that people need, yet lack. Standing in the gap are mental health NGOs in India that change the trajectory of people’s lives by providing the mental health care needed. 

Here are 5 mental health NGOs in India helping the poor and marginalized:


Homeless people face unimaginable struggles; even more so are the challenges of those who are suffering from mental disorders. It is common to hear that people with mental disorders do something as normal as leave the house on errands or to go to the store – and then become lost and cannot find their way home. Unable to remember where they live, they panic and roam the streets where they are vulnerable and exposed to dangers, especially when night falls. But many have ended up homeless because their caregivers and families have given up on them and thrown them out onto the streets. 

two women standing together

Ashadeep is one of the mental health NGOs in India that has sheltered and rehabilitated more than 1,200 homeless and mentally ill people. Once at the home, the NGO provides them with nutritious food, medical care, counseling and recreational activities to tend to their basic needs. To instill a sense of purpose and help them be productive, Ashadeep provides practical education and vocational skills training to help them be self-sufficient and financially independent. The Guwahati-based NGO’s founder Dr. Anjana founded the NGO after understanding the struggles of those with mental disorders and made it her life’s mission to help others.

Donate to Ashadeep

The Banyan

Mental health illnesses among the poor and marginalized leave a more debilitating effect, since there is a lack of mental health resources in their communities. Without mental health care, people from underprivileged backgrounds often take the agonizing decision of suicide, which impacts the lives of entire families. For those that live below the poverty line, their main focus is on making ends meet and making sure that what they have is sufficient to cover their basic expenses. But mental health conditions affect everyone, and with the added burden of poverty to overcome, the mental health struggles of people from poor backgrounds is unbearable. 

women sitting on the ground and doing an activity

Founded in 1993, The Banyan is one of the mental health NGOs in India that works to cater to the mental health needs of the majority of people in India who live on a meager income and struggle to survive. The NGO’s holistic mental health solutions include emergency, medical, psychiatric, psychological and social care, which are provided to people on the streets, hospitals and the NGO’s shelter. The NGO’s founders, Vandana Gopikumar and Vaishnavi Jayakumar, founded the NGO in Chennai after encountering a homeless mentally ill woman and vowed to help people who are too disadvantaged to have no access to mental health care. 

Donate to The Banyan


The tribal population of Gadchiroli in eastern Maharashtra lacks access to basic resources such as medical care and employment opportunities to earn a sufficient income. Moreover, unrest and violence destabilizes the area and people are burdened with the stresses of providing for their families, which becomes an almost impossible task without resources, services or assistance. Going by National Mental Health Survey by NIMHANS research conducted in 2016, it can be approximated that more than 100,000 people in Gadchiroli are in need of urgent mental health resources and psycho-social interventions.   

a counselor talking to a man

Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health (SEARCH) is one of the mental health NGOs in India that brings state-of-the-art psychiatric care to tribal communities in rural Gadchiroli, and has since 2016. SEARCH runs a mental health clinic providing psychiatric counseling, psychosocial counseling clinics in 9 out of 12 tehsils and addiction management camps at the village level. SEARCH provides the only mental health facilities within a 300km radius in Gadchiroli and its services have brought people back from the precipice of mental collapse due to issues such as extreme poverty and the lack of medical care and basic needs. 

Donate to SEARCH

Jan Sahas Social Development Society

When it comes to the absence of shelter, medical attention, education or employment, the underprivileged suffer the most – and mental health is no different. The most disadvantaged groups include migrant workers, sexual abuse survivors, manual scavengers and individuals impacted by caste-based exploitation. It is indicated by consistent research that there is a strong correlation between low incomes and mental illnesses. The reason for this is due to the fact that when every facet of a person’s life, i.e., personal, financial, familial, societal and environmental, are facing shortages and insufficiencies, it leads to mental illnesses.

a group of happy people looking at the camera

Based in Madhya Pradesh, Jan Sahas Social Development Society is one of the mental health NGOs in India that focuses its interventions on the people who cannot afford mental health care and live in extreme poverty. The organization provides psychological First Aid, psychoeducation, crisis interventions, counseling and psychotherapy. For 20 years, Jan Sahas Social Development Society has worked in 13 states to provide emergency support, mental health screenings, long and short term treatment and community awareness sessions through individual and group initiatives focused on creating a sustainable impact. 

Donate to Jan Sahas


It is reported that 60 to 70 million people in India suffer from common mental health disorders. But many barriers prevent people from accessing the help they need, such as the stigma surrounding mental health, limited resources, the high cost of treatment, and also the failure to understand how mental health conditions can affect our lives. Many marginalized people who suffer with mental illnesses face ostracization by their families or communities and are forced to bear the anguish on their own. This was further worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic when the shortage of mental health professionals cut people off from the care they needed. 

a young man looking sad

Snehalaya is among the mental health NGOs in India that cares for people who are shunned for having mental disorders. The NGO provides safe shelter, psychological support and counseling through programs which are each targeted to cater to the specific needs of individuals. Once the NGO rescues the mentally ill from the streets, the team of trained counselors works with people in curated rehabilitation programs, provides skills training to help them live independently and reunites them with their families, if that is in their best interests. The safe environment Snehalaya provides helps people overcome trauma, with patience and care.

Donare to Snehalaya

Support these mental health NGOs in India

This Mental Health Month, poor and underprivileged communities across India can get access to the specialized care that they need through your support to these mental health NGOs. Where To Start is a good question to ask regarding people who need mental health care; the answer is right here, by supporting these groundbreaking mental health NGOs in India.

📷: Cindy Higby | flickr


Give’s mission is to “make giving bigger and better.” Give is the most trusted donation platform in India for fundraisers and crowdfunding campaigns. Through our technology solutions, we enable individuals and organisations to fundraise and donate to a cause, charity or NGO with trust and convenience. Give’s community of 2.7M+ individual donors and 300+ organisations supports 3,000+ verified nonprofits with 80G deduction and serves 15M+ people across India. Find a fundraiser today!


Discover more from

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.