Mental health is still not well explored in India, and the discourse around well-being is only slowly picking up. There is still a lot of stigma around these issues, and where there is conversation, it is relegated to an individual or personal level, instead of being seen as something that can be addressed at an organisational level. As a result, even though we might know that there is a strong connection between an individual’s well-being and their ability to create change, we miss the opportunities to create systems and structures that enhance their mental and physical health.

In the social impact space this is in part due to the faulty narrative that people working on social change are doing so because they are driven by a ‘higher purpose’. This, when paired with the reality of a resource scarce environment, ends up negatively affecting policies around work hours, paid leave, and other factors that can build a sense of well-being.

At Mariwala Health Initiative (MHI) we believe that mental health is inextricably linked to structural inequalities as well as the everyday environmental and social stressors people face. As a result, our policies are based on an examination of the environment we create for our nonprofit partners.

Based on five years of building, evaluating, and tweaking these policies, here is some of what we have learned.

  1. Look at every touch-point with partner organisations
  2. Fund well-being directly
  3. Remember, policies come at no cost

Read the full article about funding well-being by Priti Sridhar and Raj Mariwala at India Development Review.