Mental health NGO offering free service turns 30

Vishwas, based in Jayanagar, is run by a group of committed volunteers
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 08:16 IST
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 08:16 IST
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 08:16 IST
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 08:16 IST

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A counselling centre in Jayanagar has won an award for distinguished service.

Vishwas Society for Mental Health received The Elsa Cares Award, instituted by The Alumni of Lady Sriram College, Delhi. The award includes a grant of Rs 50,000.

Ramesh Venkateswaran, founder and chairman, says, “Kamla, my wife and co-founder of Vishwas, is an alumna of the college.”

Over 30 years, the NGO has helped 17,000 people, 100 of them since June 2020.

In 1991, a group got together to support cancer patients and their families.

“We wanted to help people with terminal illness. Soon after, we sat down and assessed how Bengaluru was becoming a suicide hub,” says Ramesh.

Counselling is always a reactive process, but Vishwas actively promotes an emotionally happy Bengaluru, he explains.

“We believe the kind of work we do need one-on-one meetings. We opened up immediately after Unlock 1. Some of our 30 volunteers were apprehensive, but 12-14 are back,” he says.

Since the pandemic broke out, stress levels are higher, he says.

Vishwas may be contacted on 080 41154948 and 63643 20707.

No prior appointments are required. Vishwas is open Monday to Wednesday (4 pm to 6 pm) and Saturday (11 am to 1 pm).

For details, log on to www.vishwascounseling.org

Sexual abuse cases

A significant number among those seeking help at Vishwas talk about sexual abuse. “Often, people come with a problem at work or in a relationship, but after a few sessions, open up about sexual abuse,” says Ramesh.

Three principles

* Keep counselling free

* Work with volunteers

* Ensure confidentiality

Published 15 April 2021, 16:09 IST

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