The Mind Research Foundation has emerged as a forerunner in using scientifically proven, advanced, evidence-based psychological interventions for a wide spectrum of mental health conditions. Along with achieving clinical excellence from “Illness to Wellness” the organization has created a huge impact towards spreading Mental Health Awareness through structured multi–level partnership approaches. Capitalizing on the advancement of technology and the increasing role that it plays in the world of today’s youth, the organization has been working on combining Artificial Intelligence, digital data and mental health expertise to create ICT based Interactive platforms for improving mental health outcomes through increased engagement and expanded reach of Mental Health Services. Promotion, prevention and early intervention remain central tenets of the Organization’s vision towards Mental Health!
CENTRAL TENENTS OF THE ORGANISATION’S VISION:
- Early Intervention
Our Core Differentials
The thought process with which our therapists approach any client is based on the foundation of the 4 core principles or pillars. These are the pillars which gives MRF the right foundation, firm footing and belief that we could bring a change. The attempt is to connect key aspects of The Brain, Thoughts, Feelings, Behavior and Bodily Reactions which otherwise are often captured as separate facets.
Neuroplasticity is the capacity of neurons and neural networks in the brain to change their connections and behavior in response to new information. Neuroplasticity affirms the ability to strengthen and increase our brainpower, a liberating concept that flies in the face of the older, all-too widely held notion that a person’s mental capacity is innate and unchangeable, like height or eye color. These are the core abiding principles on which the foundation’s psychological interventions are based.
Wellbeing is about having the skills that you need for day-to-day life. Principles of Positive Psychology enable individuals and communities to thrive; a belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.
Thought centric approach
The ultimate goal of the organization has been to promote overall health and well-being of the person in order to prevent any illnesses and to have an enhanced life. The interventions developed and applied are not tailored towards treating a condition but are designed to foster healthy emotions, attitudes, behaviors and habits. It aims to improve quality of life, overall health, dealing with and being resilient towards minor to major stressors in one’s life. The foundation of these interventions is based on “Thought centric” approach following the principles of mindfulness. The therapists primarily use the Third Wave Therapy Model of psychology for treatment, prevention and cure of psychological, psychosomatic or general thought issues.
Mindfulness is the simple human skill to be fully present, conscious of where one is and what one is doing, and not excessively reactive or astounded by what is happening around one. Dr. Langer, Our associate and is described as the “mother of mindfulness” is one of the early pioneers in the study of mindfulness, which she describes as “the simple act of noticing new things.” Just thinking about now and being in now by using all our senses rather than regretting the past or worrying about the future gives us the ability to be mindful. The Mind Research Foundation is trying to bring in objectivity to this field by increasing the accountability of people who are delivering these services to people are looking forward to access these. Hence, these principles makes our team accountable to their clients and their recovery process. Hence, these 4 principles when used with any approach of therapy brings better and quicker results for our clients as the focus is on the holistic development of the person and not just focusing on the problem which he or she is currently facing.
KEY IMPACT AREAS
- Advancing level of Therapeutic Interventions
- Mental Health Capacity Building for Youth
- Next Leap- Integrating Technology with Mental Health Services
- ADVANCING LEVEL OF THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTIONS
- Thought Empowerment: Importance of thoughts in one’s life
We are dedicated to those who are reaching out in need of help and are passionate about enabling us to restore their health and rediscover well-being. We are relentlessly working towards bettering mental health outcomes through interventions that are less reliant on pharmaceuticals and more on self-engagement.
Keeping the aforementioned in mind as well as the advancement of technology and research work, we are the only organization who are the harbinger of “Third wave therapy model of psychology” in India; for not just treatment of people with mental health issues but for prevention and awareness of general thought problems. The Third wave therapy model is an advancement of CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) which has significant scientific evidence and includes therapies like acceptance and commitment treatment, behavioral activation, cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, meta-cognitive therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and schema therapy.
- Mapping mental health services
We know that access to mental health support is not equitable across India. Where people live, their background and language, and the complexity and quantity of their needs can all mean some people do not have the same access to services as others. Keeping in mind these disparities we strive for equal access and service quality for everyone.
The Mind Research Foundation takes pride in offering services for mental health issues through skype sessions and telephonic counselling. It is a challenge in a country like India, keeping in mind the diversity and cultural difference but with the right tools and training, we are able to bridge this gap and bring about a change. People in India are not open about addressing mental health problems, hence introducing these services helped in making them more open and approachable.
- Making effective use of psychological testing
The Mind Research Foundation offers a wide range of psychological assessments and diagnostic services for children, youth and adults. We also work with other professionals in the community, including family physicians, pediatricians, psychiatrists, child development centers, government ministries, and school personnel, to provide comprehensive assessment services and enable coordinated intervention. The Mind Research Foundation provides neuropsychological and psychological assessment for individuals across the life span, from infancy through geriatrics.
Instead of making it a diagnostic model, we use testing and focus on symptoms of the client and work on them without labelling the client. We believe in providing care and destigmatizing of people who are asking for it and the best way to do so, is by removing the unwanted jargon/ labels from the society.
- MENTAL HEALTH CAPACITY BUILDING FOR YOUTH: AN INTEGRATED APPROACH BY CREATING A MENTAL HEALTH MODEL OF DISSEMINATION FOR SCHOOLS
“The best mental health strategy is one that prevents issues from arising in the first place.”
The aim of the Project is to create a High Quality, Evidence-Based Mental Health Capacity Building Framework; a resource designed for use in schools and applicable for Youth aged 13-18. We call it a ‘framework’, in that it will provide a curriculum, structure, guidance and support while enabling schools to build their own mental health approach to disseminate the Capsule suiting their unique circumstances. The Mental Health Literacy Guide a major component of the entire Capsule for youth would provide a complete set of scientifically proven educational tools that research has demonstrated to increase mental health literacy of both students and teachers. The resource guide will be using ICT enabled innovative learning tools and methodologies effectively and successfully that will be used to improve mental health outcomes for the targeted population. The Aim of the project is to assist schools in promoting the well-being of adolescents and raising their awareness of the diverse nature of mental health. This resource will focus on building skills as well as providing students with some insight into changing states of mental health.
The project aims at providing schools with blended learning that will include online resources, Spotlights on topics relevant to schools, face-to-face events, webinars and support. All content will be created by strong evidence in the area of school mental health and wellbeing. The comprehensive set of resources would have mental health benefits for the entire school community – including students, families and school staff. The Mental Health Program shall aim at youth for obtaining and maintaining good mental health, decreasing stigma and enhancing help seeking efficacy. Through applying a unique approach the project will be embedding an Implementation Model in educational institutions that can successfully and sustainably improve wellbeing outcomes for students. In addition, this innovation would build student capacity within the education system by doing so in a frugal and sustainable way.
- THE NEXT LEAP – INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY WITH MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Capitalizing on the advancement of technology and the increasing role that it plays in the world of today’s youth, the organization has been working on combining Artificial Intelligence, digital data and mental health expertise to create ICT based Interactive platforms for improving mental health outcomes through increased engagement and expanded reach of Mental Health Services.
At MRF the aim is to leverage technology for incorporating Predictive Analytics that combines technology, data and expertise to help improve current patient health outcomes by identifying high-risk patients sooner and with more accuracy, thereby reducing healthcare costs and work disability days.
MRF has a proven track record of impacting thousands of patients in individual and group settings over a spectrum of behavioral health issues. We have been successfully delivering and treating patients to prove and validate the effectiveness of the behavioral health model in an Indian setting and now intend to use complex variables and parameters to make it more effective with Thought Care products & alternative Medication Management. Predictive analytics will enable us make the best decisions, allowing for care to be personalized to each individual.
We are at the beginning of a new era of intelligent interfaces. Users especially youth resonate with interactive device interfaces. Capitalizing on the advancement of technology and the increasing role that it plays in the world of today’s youth, an important part of what we are planning to do in near future will be to create an AI based Mobile Application that will enable continued connect with the youth and enable positive engagement with the Mental Health Guidance and resources.
As digital platforms take on new functions and gather an increasing amount of personal data about users, the issue of user privacy / confidentiality will remain a matter of top priority. We take full cognizance of the fact that it will be increasingly important to set clear boundaries regarding which information they need and can have access to.
In order to avoid adverse effects, we are focusing on research and feedback system as two major sources which will help us in correcting ourselves at every step of our journey. Research as mentioned before, helps us in understanding our clients and their needs better, making us aware of providing what each client wants and the way they want it. Feedback system is our core focus. Going back to our clients and taking quick feedbacks and understanding where we are lacking has made us grow and understand various ways in which the same information can be presented but in a different manner so that it is easy to consume for each client. The Mind research foundation believes in keeping up with the technology as well as research and that too at a global level. Human beings across the globe are the same and hence are their emotions, feelings and mental health issues. There are projects in the pipeline for the coming future which would not just align with our vision and mission but also, connect mental health wellbeing at an international level.
- AI based Mobile Application
We are at the beginning of a new era of intelligent interfaces. Users especially youth resonate with interactive device interfaces. Capitalizing on the advancement of technology and the increasing role that it plays in the world of today’s youth, an important part of the project will be to create an AI based Mobile Application that will enable continued connect with the youth and enable positive engagement with the Mental Health Guidance and resources.
Intelligently and sensitively using humanized technology in the context of Mental Health Guidance tool will turn devices into ‘identity accessories': that can become gears to actively sculpt behavior, identity and guided actions of the participating youth. The objective of the Mobile App is to make it come ‘alive’ via AI technology, acting as a mediator for self-discovery and self-realization, which in turn can have far-reaching positive consequences on the state of mind of the user. The proposed AI based Mobile application will emerge to take on the role of a constant support resource’. The interface will be with the users whenever they need them, keeping them company, supporting them, and making them feel secure and cared for in an increasingly complex and erratic world.
Depending on how advanced the project participants agree to the AI system will not only gather factual data such as workout or eating patterns, but also glean intimate insight into the user psyche and problems, desires, dreams, and fears. The aim is to create a simple, intuitive, and attractive self-guided Mobile App that will aim at increasing positive emotions through exercises and tools supported by positive psychology and mindfulness research. An initial questionnaire could be used to suggest “tracks” for an individual’s use, and subsequent activity content will be geared towards various aims such as reducing worry, building relationships, increasing fitness, or coping with other life challenges based on AI garnered inputs. Activities will be backed up with a blurb about research or scientific rationale that the user will be encouraged to read. This app will start with the role of describing basic concepts with a creative animated interface, presenting concepts in a user-friendly way with clear instructions; creating an online forum; supplying podcasts; normalizing mind-wandering; and illustrating main points with videos. The content using AI can subsequently get customized to each user and provide specified feed.
An important point to note is that the app is not intended as a treatment substitute or as a Flag raiser; but an authentic support system for Youth intending at building their mental health capacities.
Targeted to help adolescents, teens, and young adults the app would help gain insight into basic skills for managing any stress invoking symptoms, worry, performance anxiety, test anxiety, and perfectionism to symptom recognition of impeding psychological issues. The skills taught may be applied providing users with more helpful, balanced ways of thinking about feared situations. Using Artificial Intelligence tools the app could be offering lists of active coping strategies tailored to each individual’s inputs / responses a variety of thought patterns and specific user inputs.
“Suggested exercises, mental imagery, and mindfulness strategies could be provided in text and audio format. “Quick Tips” could be included to assist issues in the moment. Users would be able “favorite” the methods that work for them. Scoring could be embedded in the application for monitoring analyzing how one’s mental health is changing over time. This app could help individuals rate various symptoms of mood (as an example) to determine the impact it may have on their day to day functioning and interpersonal relationships. Through Data Analysis the app could suggest users to speak or check in with person responsible for Primary Level Care (Teachers, Family as an example)
Designed for Young People the app will allow people to: Manage their mental wellness in an informed manner by building their own profile of Positive Mental Health by getting in-depth user insights leading to personalized out outcomes. There are many possibilities of expanding the Mobile App scope features that the participating organizations can agree to or the participating Youth / Schools can benefit from. .
***As digital platforms take on new functions and gather an increasing amount of personal data about users, the issue of user privacy / confidentiality will remain a matter of top priority. Parties proposing are taking full cognizance of the fact that it will be increasingly important to set clear boundaries regarding which information they need and can have access to.
OTHER IMPACT AREAS
- Global Collaborations
- Research and Development
- Outreach Initiatives
- Life Coach
- Family Assistance Programs
- Thought Leadership
Research and Development
The Mind Research Foundation conducts and supports Research that is in-line with the foundation’s prime areas of operation, which may help find newer avenues and applications. All of our research focuses on contributing to the evidence base for the prevention of mental ill-health and the promotion of overall mental health and wellbeing. We use research to guide our work and the work of others. The Mind Research Foundation and its staff, have collaborative relationships with a diverse range of research Institutions and Centers across the globe.
Sustained transformational change can only occur when systems become better equipped to solve local problems using the best available approaches, while taking in view the prevailing best approaches globally. Hence, we went through coveted partnerships and collaborations across the globe in order to fulfil this aim. The organization is connected to Global Team of Mental Healthcare experts who provide Thought Leadership to the organization. MRF has Research & Outreach Collaborations with Faculty-Harvard Department of Psychology, Faculty University of Milan, PGIMER – Chandigarh (India), Langer Mindfulness Institute (Boston, USA), SLV Srilanka and many other local bodies.
- OUTREACH INTIATIVES
- Building community resilience and wellbeing through Outreach Initiatives
We are working towards building a community which is not wary to discuss about mental health, shy to ask for help, is empathetic towards fellow beings and resilient in its approach. This can be done only by working on creating programs and sessions with any/all age groups, ethnic groups, gender groups, that is, society at large. Our outreach Initiatives covers:
- Children: all age groups, socio economic status and so on
- Parents: Conscious parenting, behavioral management, super moms and super dads and so on
- Teachers: Mindful teaching, collaborative approach to teaching etc.
- Corporate: Stress management, Employee Assistance program and so on.
- Geriatric: Mindful ageing, Understanding empty nest syndrome etc.
- Youth: Social media and its impact; cyber bullying, emotional abuse and trauma and so on
- Pregnant families: We believe in not just helping women but also, the family to understand the changes within the women so they are able to provide the right care for both.
- Couple: Communication-Key to any good marriage; The need for validation and so on
- Disease based support group
- Mental health based support group
- Anti-smoking drives
- Academia Interventions
Mind research foundation is working towards creating programs pertaining to children and bringing a holistic development by making them aware of their own mental health wellbeing. The reason for creating such programs has been our belief that Lack of Knowledge leads to stigmatization, improper and untimely care and hesitation in asking for help. The Mindset has to change in order to destigmatize mental health problem and to accept the fact that the problem does exist. In order to curb the problem at the grass-roots level focus needs to be placed onto Children. Another reason of working with children: most of the mental health issues which are developed in adults can be traced back to the kind of childhood the person lead. (Research indicates that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14.) Hence, this is a two way strategy: awareness of children would lead to less mental health problems in the future and also, making them empathetic/ aware of these problems leading to de-stigmatization of mental health issues. Our aim is to:
- Equip them with the knowledge and skills to be in charge of their own wellbeing.
- Making them resilient to face any stress and conflicts
- Empowering them with topics of empathy, personal responsivity, emotional intelligence, kindness, gratitude and so on leading to a better understanding of the mental health/illness of the other person
- Mental health program to be a core subject that will sit alongside Science, Mathematics and so on.
- Workforce Interventions
A lot of recent studies have pointed out that people in stressful work surroundings tend to gain more weight, have more appointments related to both physical and mental health, and have higher rates of absenteeism. Stress from work impact their household life, mental health, and even increase risks for chronic illnesses. Too much of stress and juggling between work and other aspects of life is making a person less creative, productive and unhappy. Sustaining brilliance requires an innovative and progressive skill set for supervising your most valuable reserve: your mind/brain. Keeping the above in mind, the Mind Research Foundation offers Signature Mindfulness based Programs for Mindfulness at work. Some of the topics covered are: MBSR( Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), Time Management, Conscious Parenting, Clinical Perfectionism, Emotional Wellness, Resilience Building and many more.
- Taking a step towards Mental Health Advocacy
We started with a single steering principle and still find ourselves moving forward with it “The advancement of people’s wellbeing through the Mind.” What started out as a general mental health clinic has now become a mental health organization which dabbles with not just cure but awareness and prevention as well. The Mind Research Foundation was comprehended with the view of bringing an overall change towards mental health in the society and with each passing day, we are able to reach towards this perception. This perception gave birth to our flagship offerings which were created with the vision of our organization. We don’t just believe in taking care of patients and vulnerable people, who are diagnosed, supported and cared for, or at risk, because of mental health needs; but to enable people embrace mental health as a part of their overall wellbeing. We managed to this by not just giving clinical expertise to clients suffering from mental health problems but also by providing general population with awareness sessions, workshops, seminars on a wide range of themes all pertaining to mental health. Our collaboration with Rotary, gave us access to underprivileged kids who are more prone to sexual harassment, cyber bullying and so on. Keeping this in mind, 2-3 awareness sessions are conducted each month with these kids of government schools where we touch a wide spectrum of issues like ‘Good touch/bad touch’; ‘Resiliency building’; ‘Emotions and Mind’; ‘Career guidance’; ‘Impact of social media’ etc. We believe that when our wellbeing is high, we feel connected, supported and safe, have good physical and mental health and a sense of purpose. We are more likely to be able to cope with life’s difficult events, and are less vulnerable to mental health issues.
- Amplifying the voice of lived experience: UNMUTE
Unmute is our initiative to raise awareness and start talking about mental health. We believe that a simple act of having a conversation about mental health challenges people’s stereotypes. It bursts the myths that lurk in the headlines. It begins to break the stigma. This can be done by:
- Not sweeping mental health disorders under the rug and becoming compassionate about for people affected
- Addressing societal apathy towards people affected
- Addressing the lack of education and awareness on the subject the lack of adequate resources and approaches.
We have opened our doors to sharing stories of recovery, struggle or hope hence helping to spread knowledge and perspective about mental health issues that could change the way people think about it. We offer campaign champions, offering everyone an opportunity to submit their stories or make videos and so on.
- Promoting Mindfulness as a way of life
Mindfulness is the simple human skill to be fully present, conscious of where one is and what one is doing, and not excessively reactive or astounded by what is happening around one.
Dr. Langer, Our associate and is described as the “mother of mindfulness” is one of the early pioneers in the study of mindfulness, which she describes as “the simple act of noticing new things.” Just thinking about now and being in now by using all our senses rather than regretting the past or worrying about the future gives us the ability to be mindful.
Most of our programs for youth, corporate, geriatric population and so on having a basic foundation of Mindfulness engraved in them. Teaching our clients these skills, along with any therapeutic approach enables a holistic development of the person, rather than making the ‘disease’ the core focus, we make the ‘person’ our core focus.
Life coaching is a goal-oriented partnership between a coach and client where the personal, interpersonal, and professional development of the client is maximized to its full potential and his/her overall life is improved. Clients’ role in the relationship is sole expert of their lives while coaches act as a resource for ideas, encouragement, problem-solving frameworks, and accountability. Life coaching differs from therapy, mentoring, and consulting because clients are the experts, the primary goal is creating effective methods of accomplishing specific achievements, and clients are trusted to generate their own solutions.
The coach’s job is to inspire thought-provoking growth and self-awareness in the client through objective assessment, active listening, challenging ideas, and encouragement. The client is in charge of the agenda, creating goals and incorporating the coach’s assessments and observations, having a vision and utilizing tools provided by the coach to bring the vision to life. Clients reach their full potential and reap all the benefits of coaching when they’re focused on themselves, observant, willing to challenge current thought processes and behaviors, open to change, forgiving of one’s self, and committed to their goals. We believe that this new approach would help bridge the gap between the societies who is wary of mental health would bring mental health in a new light of self-actualization rather than just being related to mental health problems.
FAMILY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
The program focuses on identifying and managing the needs of a Family for behavioral interventions towards improving the family’s psychological overall wellbeing and facilitating harmonious interpersonal relationships. FAP is offered both via corporate engagements or direct services.
KEEPING THE THERAPIST HEALTHY
The mind Research Foundation firmly believes in giving the therapist the right kind of support and environment in which they could help others. We help them create an autonomous environment so they feel liberated to be at their best and not bounded by conducting a particular therapy or seeing a particular set of clients hence, focusing on eclectic approach with the 4 basic principles at the backdrop. We believe in channelizing their thoughts and learning in the optimum way by giving them the platform which is trusting and stress free.
At the end of the day, a therapist too is a human and would need guidance and help, hence we believe in peer supervision, case study analysis and group discussions. We believe that each person is bring something unique on the table, hence by discussing the case studies or supervising one another, they help each other to grow, learn and be in touch with what’s is new and what could help their client.
Each therapist is given an opportunity to play around with their environment by giving them the space to do what they feel they could do best. Apart from following basic ethical considerations which they are equipped with through their education in their respective fields, we constantly share and apply globally advanced therapeutic interventions. Eclectic approach helps in keeping the client’s needs above and not restricting their exploration of painful events to a particular kind of therapy. The approach which is carefully chosen will have tools and techniques of most advanced innovative diagnostic and therapeutic technology available.
Our Consistent effort is to create an environment which enables each individual to thrive and practice in the most productive manner creating an Engaging and Mindful Workspace!
JOINING HANDS WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE FRONT-RUNNERS IN THEIR FIELD: THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
Our thought leadership is an interactive model where we welcome leaders from all the fields to be on one platform. The three way model: Engage – to support people throughout their journey by providing opportunities to hone leadership skills through coaching, mentoring and training activities etc. Empower – to support people by providing guidance regarding mental health etc. Enable – to provide opportunities for professionals/ students to grow personally and professionally through entrepreneurship opportunities, active involvement in community services, etc.
MRF has a proven track record of impacting thousands of affected people in individual and group settings over a spectrum of behavioral health issues and across various ages & stages of life. We have developed, applied and tested our therapies on various small issues to major illnesses in the past four years + in more than 20000 face to face sessions with our clients at our India centers. We have been successfully delivering and treating patients to prove and validate the effectiveness of the behavioural health model in and now intend to use complex variables and parameters to make it more effective with Thought Care products & Predictive analytics. The Mind Research Organization is working to make sure nobody has to face a mental health problem alone. People need our support more than ever, and demand for our services is growing. We have reached out to more than 25000 people through our Outreach and Mental Health Advocacy initiatives using Face to Face and online means that include workshops, seminars, round table talks, interviews, surveys, social media platforms et al. Keeping in mind that such awareness endeavors have a multiplier effect, we believe that many more lives have been touched through these platforms.
FUTURE ROADMAP GLOBAL EXCHANGE OF BEST PRACTICES IN MENTAL HEALTH
The Mind Research Foundation aims to create mechanisms that accelerate the sharing of change efforts and innovations across participating organizations from different countries using evidence-informed theoretical and practical approaches. Our aim is to increase the capacity for effective knowledge exchange in mental health by connecting people, ideas, and resources on a global level. The goal is to reduce the time from innovation to implementation to improve mental health while focusing joint efforts on:
- Building capacity & infrastructure;
- Research and tool development;
- Utilizing technology to ensure continual youth connect
Sustained transformational change can only occur when systems become better equipped to solve local problems using the best available approaches, while taking in view the prevailing best approaches globally. Through our coveted partnerships and collaborations we choose to do just that!