This article describes experiences in implementing a community mental health and development project in a rural district in southern India, including the position of persons with mental illness when the project was initiated, the challenges faced and the strategies that were developed to overcome these challenges. The authors conclude that when services are locally available, persons with mental illness can be treated and rehabilitated within their own community. They can live with dignity and their rights are respected. There is a great need for inclusion of persons with mental illness in the existing developmental activities and in disabled persons’ organisations.
disability, treatment of persons with mental illness, mental illness, community mental health programme, development, rural, india, Rehabilitation,