Dear Shant Manas (SM) Team
As another good year comes to an end for SM, we have seen a modest growth in its work. Our catchment population has increased to around 35k as we prepare to take our work to new villages. The year had seen the arrival of a new social worker to bolster the team and ease the case load of others. We have had valuable assistance, in the form of teaching and training, from mental health practitioners (UK) who volunteered their time and service, free of cost, for SM! And we have had great support from other visitors too.
Our MSW student placement programme has seen another successful year. The interest amongst colleges to have their students placed with SM has grown with college Faculties grasping the tremendous opportunities to be had, for their students, in experiential and observational learning, especially in the areas of holistic mental and social health assessment, home treatment and rehabilitation. Another crucial factor for the attractiveness of this student placement programme has come from the positive feedback from previous students who had completed such placements with SM. These two factors combined have helped establish SM as a valuable PG student placement resource for several colleges affiliated to Madurai University. (Some interest in OT student placements from the UK too!).
Our service users , and their wider community, have also given positive feedback about the benefits that they have received from our free service through the year. (Mind, no suicides, no admissions, no incidents, and some are in paid work too!) We have been welcomed into new villages. This, I believe, is an open testament to the high regard and trust that the community holds for the work of SM. And that, in turn, is a true reflection of the wonderful professional commitment, dedication and hard work of the entire SM team. Congratulations to all of you.
All this success, of course, does bring new challenges for us – as individuals and as an organisation. We need to continue to work hard in order to maintain the trust and confidence of the people whom we serve in the community. Our work load will increase as we take on new villages. Our students and Faculties have high expectations of us. A particularly big challenge remains on the funding front. SM is rich in commitment and strong in purpose. However, it needs to raise funds urgently to bolster its resources which, I am confident, we will in 2011.
You have always asked what you could do for SM, and not the other way around! Thank you very much. And special thanks to our supporters in UK too.
Looking forward to New Year 2011 to continue the good work.
Wishing you all good wishes & grateful appreciation,
Dr C Vasudevan