The intricate designs made by the veins on leaves are unique to every leaf. Much like the way the mind processes and responds to situations is unique to every individual. Every person has their own special ways of dealing with their surroundings. Adveka Foundation acknowledges and celebrates this uniqueness.
Adveka Foundation is a non- profit, non-governmental organisation that works for Mental Health. Our work focuses on the mental well-being of Caregivers of people with different physical and mental health issues. A Caregiver is a person who is responsible for the needs of another person. For example, for Vinod, a 7-year-old boy with Cancer, his parents- Tanvi & Shashank, become his Primary Caregivers, while his doctors and nurses become his Secondary Caregivers. For a 45-year old man with Diabetes, his wife and children may be his Primary Caregivers while his doctor will be his Secondary Caregiver. For an Oncologist, she could be the Secondary Caregiver to multiple patients, and the Primary Caregiver to her father with Dementia.
These Caregivers are so caught up in taking care of their care-recipient, that they do not pay attention to their own physical and mental health needs. After all, even they are stressed and anxious while handling the hundred responsibilities of the house in addition to the hundred responsibilities of their care-recipient. To add to this, they do not have the time or resources such as money to actually seek mental health support as they believe it is selfish to spare a thought for themselves when they have another person that needs their care.
Hence, Caregivers become an invisible population that works tirelessly but isn’t recognised as a section of society that needs therapeutic help. There is no other organisation that focuses on working with the Caregivers for their mental well-being.
How does Adveka help?
Adveka Foundation identifies these Caregivers from NGOs, Hospitals and works with them. Our psychotherapists provide Individual Counselling and facilitate Support Groups with these Caregivers. The curriculum of these Support Groups is based on research and designed specifically to meet the needs of the Caregivers. Through these sessions, the Caregivers find a safe-space where they can express their feelings of sadness, frustration, disappointment, anger without being judged. These sessions are designed to increase the Caregivers’ Resilience, Healthy Coping Skills and reduce their feelings of Perceived Caregiver Burden and Stress. Together, this helps build the emotional capacities of the Caregivers which enables them to reach their optimal potential, improve their daily functioning and overall well-being.
So far, we have worked with caregivers of people with Cancer, Autism, Developmental Conditions, & Dementia.
Our Impact Areas –
Psychological: The Caregivers understand the power of healthy negative emotions such as sadness, worry, remorse and irritation. Instead of incapacitating them, they learn how these emotions can empower them to feel better, do better. Feeling sad, for example, is a part of life. Instead of pushing these emotions down, the Caregivers learn how to process, express and resolve these emotions in a healthy way. They learn to challenge their unhealthy thinking patterns and come up with more rational thoughts that help them feel better and behave in more fruitful ways.
Behavioural: Caregivers realise the importance of taking that 15-minute break in the day to do something for themselves. Be it going for a walk or drinking one cup of chai in peace, or even sitting in a corner and meditating. Taking time off to truly be with themselves is important and is one of the best coping strategies that they adopt. “Self-Care is not Selfish”, is what they learn and imbibe.
They learn problem solving skills that leads to more productive use of their resources; assertiveness techniques that helps them express and debate rather than argue; techniques of interpersonal conflict resolution that lead to better interpersonal relationships, and an ability to stand up for themselves and their care-recipient.
Social: Equipped with better social skills and understanding the importance of asking for help, the Caregivers build a far more empathetic social support system. They are able to communicate effectively; form and sustain healthier relationships with others.
Economic: A mentally healthier individual will have fewer days of psychosomatic distress. This directly translates into more productive work days and economic health. For a Caregiver who is unable to manage the stress of Caregiving duties and paid work, Mental Health support will help them prevent and manage stress, thus enabling them to pursue paid work if they wish to.
The influence doesn’t end at the Caregiver; a Mentally Healthier Caregiver will leverage their strengths and new skills to provide more efficient support to their Care- Recipient and have fuller and more meaningful relationships with those around them.