KOSHISH is a nongovernmental organization registered in the District of Kathmandu, with the approval of Nepal Social Welfare Council (Regd No. 25676) in 2008 at the Kathmandu District Administrative Office (Regd No. 086/065). KOSHISH, National Self Help Organization evolved from the commitment of persons with mental distress/psychosocial disability recognizing the need for improved systems and reduced stigma in Nepal. The word "KOSHISH" means "making an effort", advocating for inclusion and dignity of the people with psychosocial issue as well as transforming life of these people living in vulnerable condition.
KOSHISH strongly believes and take initiation to include person with psychosocial disability for the meaningful participation at their communities level like other people. We focus on destigmatization and social model in integrated health system rather than impairment, as we need to eliminate social, cultural, legal barriers for persons with psychosocial disability.
The history of KOSHISH and its Short Term Emergency Residential Center began with one person's passion and interest to work for the cause of people suffering from Mental Health problems. Mr. Matrika Prasad Devkota, today’s Chairperson of KOSHISH. The untold struggle and perseverance of Mr. Devkota is the reason why KOSHISH today is the one and only pioneer organization providing comprehensive/holistic support to the abandoned people living with Mental Health and Psychosocial Problems. In the initial years before the establishment of KOSHISH, Mr. Devkota's hardship is visible in individual successful stories of different people he helped suffering from Mental illness.
1999 - 2002:
The first initiation began in 1999 when, Matrika Devkota started supporting community people with Mental Health Problems at Dang district. He took these people overnight to Kathmandu mental Hospitals for checkups and dropping them back to community. Mr. Devkota continued this small scale community effort until 2002.
2002 - 2004:
From 2002 to 2004, Mr Devkota dedicated most of his time and energy to his elderly parents. Nevertheless, he remained concerned about those affected by mental illness, and continued to explore best ways of supporting his community.
Mr Devkota’s passion and commitment to the mental health cause became obvious to all when in 2004, he helped a 15 year old boy from Sinamangal, suffering from Mental Health problems. Mr. Devkota raised self-funds to help the suffering boy for his treatment. He raised funds from St. Xavier Social Service Center and also plead people to donate 1 RS a day to help the boy. with the generated fund he helped the boy in his recovery process.
In 2005, Mr Devkota, rescued Mr Akkal from a center where the latter was admitted and treated in the most inhuman ways possible. Mr Devkota took him to "Samudayik Manasik Swastha Sewa Kendra" in Danchi, where Mr. Akkal was treated. Within a few weeks, after changes to his medication and being offered care, love and support, Mr Akkal’s condition improved substantially. Today, Mr Akkal is the General Secretary of KOSHISH.
A strong mental illness survivor, Keshar, who was living on the streets of Jawlakhel for years, was rescued by Mr. Devkota, who helped him in his recovery phase in a private hospital. Post recovery Mr. Matrika also helped Keshar financially, and he is now working in KOSHISH’s head office as a receptionist. Keshar is also a gifted musician and composes Mental Health awareness songs.
Gorkha district a female with a 25 years history of mental illness and another female from the street were rescued and admitted to a mental hospital, where both were offered medical support. One of the women had a long history of being a victim of domestic violence and subsequent sexual abuse. She was pregnant and gave birth to a child whilst living on the streets. Mr. Matrika, rescued her and her child, and made arrangements for both to stay in a shelter home of an organization working for women. She is now living happily with her daughter.
2008 - 2009:
On 4th August 2008 and due to Mr. Matrika Devkota’s ongoing effort to bring greater visibility to mental health in Nepal, "KOSHISH" was finally created and registered in the District Administration Office, Kathmandu. In the following year, several women were rescued and given medical treatment at Dachi. In 2009 around 7 women with Mental Health problems were supported by KOSHISH
The 1stDrop in Centerto support people with Mental Health problems was established, offering a wide range of therapeutic activities to people affected by mental illness Unfortunately, many did not visit the centre due to fear of stigma and discrimination. Based on the needs of those who approached KOSHISH, it became apparent that people experiencing mental illness needed primarily a residential service, rather than a day centre. This should offer them the safety and security they all looked for, away from the discriminatory attitudes of others. . In response to this need, in late 2010, the DIC was transformed and converted to a short term residential center.
Koshish established the first Residential house for females suffering from mental health problems. Gauri was the first client of the transit home. During this year, a comprehensive therapeutic support and residential service was provided to all clients.
Although the Transit home was only for females, the needs of male individuals experiencing mental illness could not be ignored. A separate room in the female transit home was therefore maintained for male clients who approached KOSHISH’s services . In the following year, a total of 20 clients were rescued and undertaken for recovery at the transit home (Male7 and Female 13)
The demand for Mental Health clients to be rescued and receivetreatment continued to grow. People became increasingly aware of what Mental Health condition are and how they can be treated and controlled with medication and an appropriate social environment. With that, in the following year, 50 clients were rescued and provided support (Male 6 and female 44). On 13th October 2013, Mr. Matrika Devkota was honored with Dr. Guislain Award, for breaking the chains of stigma.
51 clients were rescued during the year. (Male 2 and female 49)
2015 was a traumatic and difficult year for Nepal, marked by the devastating earthquake which took place on April 25th. The impact of this catastrophe on the mental well being of Nepalese people was enormous. In this same year, the first ost-earthquake male and female separate transit homes were established. A total of 47 female clients were rescued the following year. The program also developed gradually by rendering service in which the clients were provided with holistic mental health and psychosocial service by a psychiatric consultant, a psychosocial counselor, social workers, nurses, care takers and others. This program set the example that mental health and psychosocial problems are treatable and can be managed through proper care and support, therefore challenging the deeply rooted social stigma and misconceptions around mental illness.
The post-earthquake experiences caused unimaginable trauma resulting in an increase in cases of mental health problems. KOSHISH rescued abandoned and needful cases in the field of mental health by rescuing people with mental health problems and providing them with emergency holistic psychosocial support in its two short term emergency residential centers, before reintegrating them back into their families and communities. In this year a total of 129 clients were rescued ( Male 52 and female 77)
Mental and psycho-social well-being for all.
KOSHISH seeks to ensure dignified life for people with psychosocial problems through improving and implementing policies and legislation and expanding community-based mental health and psychosocial support.
Quality of life of people living with psychosocial problems is improved.
- Transparency: KOSHISH is an open book for all.
- Ethical: Maintaining confidentiality, privacy, and right treatment of the beneficiary.
- Informed: Sharing relevant message, data and statistics.
- Diversity: We respect different ideas, opinions, background, expertise, culture and knowledge. (edit)
- Determined: We will not give up fighting against stigma associated with mental health
- Partnership: We believe in cooperation, together we can do more.
- Empathy: Not pity but respecting full dignity of person with mental health issue
- Integrity: We practice honesty, loyalty and sincerit