Kochi’s Mental Health- Using Theatre to Raise Awareness

Kochi’s mental health can be characterised by using theatre to raise awareness about mental health. Using theatre as a way to raise awareness about mental health, innovative and engaging. Read more to find out about this innovative mental health intervention in Kochi.


Kochi, also called Cochin, a port situated in Kerala, is known for being the financial, commercial and industrial capital of Kerala.


According to a survey conducted by Kerala State Mental Health Authority in 2016, 12.8% of Kerala’s population is affected by at least one mental health disorder which requires professional intervention. The survey highlighted that 9% of the state’s population suffers from clinical depression.

Interestingly, Kerala’s all 14 districts have a fully functioning District Mental health program (DMHP) which consists of a mental health team led by a psychiatrist. This team visits a few primary health centres once in a month to help treat the patients in a holistic nature.


Another innovative initiative in the state of Kerala is by a team led by Dr. Raghu Raghavan, professor of mental health of the De Montfort University in Leicester, UK, has been in the works in a research partnership project- Mental Health Literacy Project (MeHeLP). This team consists of theater artists, scholars & filmmakers who have been raising awareness about mental health in Kerala with the use of different art forms.

Dr. Raghavan’s team partnered with Lokadharmi, a theater company from Kochi, and Excavate, a theater team in UK’s Nottingham. This collaboration has been targeting Palakkad, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Ernakulam with theater-based interventions to spread awareness about mental health and its importance in today’s time.

However, despite this highly engaging and interesting intervention, Dr. Raghavan quoted the National Mental Health Survey of India 2017, and highlighted that Kerala has the High suicide risk in adults out of all the states included in the study, with a significant 12.5% of adult population falling under this risk. 


There have been a few cases of discrimination against those who struggle with mental disorder in the city. A man who was admitted in a private hospital in Kochi to be treated for Covid-19 was denied insurance coverage by the insurance company because he admitted he has suffered from and gotten treatment for a mental health disorder in the past. 

Another patient was denied insurance coverage for her abdomen surgery just because she suffered from Bipolar Disorder.

Related to this, psychiatrist C.J. John told The Hindu that even the treatment of the mentally ill is unequal, and their mental disorder is used as an excuse to deny them their rights and claims. He mentioned the fact that this is a clear violation of the right to equality and protection from discrimination as laid down in the Mental Health Care Act 2017.


List of Well Established Mental Health Institutes in Kochi


  1. Mindful Life– An adolescent, family counseling and psychotherapy centre. Their specialties include individual counseling, couples counseling, psychiatry, and corporate wellness programs.
  2. Kusumagiri Mental Health Centre– It has been a pioneer in the field of mental health since 1971. The centre has got 24 hour causality services with experienced psychiatrists, psychologists and psychiatric nurses. The emergency cases brought here are suicidal attempts, unmanageable violence’s, homicidal tendencies, over dosage of drugs and other substances etc.
  3. The Healing Minds Clinic– The clinic provides comprehensive care for a wide spectrum of psychiatric disorders and psychological problems. This service includes detailed evaluation, proper diagnosis, developing comprehensive management strategies most suited for the particular illness.
  4. Metro Mind Hospital– It is the brainchild of a team of doctors who believes that a new approach towards management of mental illnesses can create profound wonders in the field of mental health. Its specialties include child psychiatry, de-addiction, neuropsychiatry & counseling.
  5. Mibo Care– It offers an excellent service for people who experience cognitive, emotional and intellectual distress. They ensure the service of a professional team of psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors and child development specialists with the assurance of solutions to your problems. 




Nair, A. B. (2020, October 10). Mental health: It’s never late to seek help. The New Indian Express. Retrieved from https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/2020/oct/10/mental-health-its-never-late-to-seek-help-2208156.html


Narayanan, A. (2021, November 8). Promoting Mental Health Literacy Through Theatre: Kochi news – times of India. The Times of India. Retrieved from https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/promoting-mental-health-literacy-through-theatre/articleshow/87583404.cms#aoh=16477532123142&csi=1&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&_tf=From%20%251%24s 


Praveen, M. P. (2021, October 10). Discrimination against people with mental illness on the rise. The Hindu. Retrieved from https://www-thehindu-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/discrimination-against-people-with-mental-illness-on-the-rise/article36922971.ece/amp/?amp_js_v=a6&_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQKKAFQArABIIACAw%3D%3D#aoh=16477961276814&csi=1&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&_tf=From%20%251%24s&share=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thehindu.com%2Fnews%2Fcities%2FKochi%2Fdiscrimination-against-people-with-mental-illness-on-the-rise%2Farticle36922971.ece 


On Key

Related Posts

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter