Vision, Mission and objectives

Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. — Aristotle

Context: 

The world is desperately seeking change. Happiness and wellbeing is taking key place in measuring progress to sustainable development. National Wellbeing is taking priority in policy framework. It is evident that happiness and wellbeing are key elements for better health, peace and more productivity.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), mental health refers to "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". 

Around 450 million people suffer from mental health problems in the world and it is the fourth highest cause of death in global indexes. Depression, a serious and prevalent mental illness, is the second leading cause of disability worldwide.  Every 40 seconds someone is taking his/her life in the form of suicide which is the second leading cause of death among people between15- 29 years of old.

In Bangladesh, the 2005 national survey suggests that 16% adults and 18% children suffer from mental illness. To put this into context, that is approximately 25 million adults and 28 million children suffering from mental illness. Compare that to only 200 psychiatrists, 50 clinical psychologists and 800 beds dedicated to mental health services in the state level for the population of 160 million. Altogether they cover only 1% of the estimated needs and the treatment is predominantly based on medical model. Despite additional mental health services provided by Non-Governmental Organizations and private clinics, the response to mental illness in Bangladesh is nowhere close to the extent needed. Government response has been limited to the Lunacy Act 1912 and a modernized Mental Health Act is yet to be finalized. 

Mental illnesses cause more disability than any other health condition; bring enormous pain and suffering to individuals and their families and communities; and can lead to early death, human rights abuses and damage to the economy. Improving mental health is therefore a vital part of a successful development program.


The health case

People with mental health problems have shorter lives and worse health than others. This is due to suicide, and absent and or poorer treatment of those problems by the health system.  


The social and economic case

Mental health problems are a brake on development as they cause (and are caused by) poverty. This fuels social failures including poor parenting and school failure, domestic violence, unemployment, and toxic stress.


The human rights case

People with mental health problems are often subjected to stigma and serious abuse, such as chaining, and in many countries are denied fundamental human rights and protections through discriminatory laws.


Vision, Mission and Objectives of Innovation for Wellbeing Foundation:

IWF Vision for a society where human potentials are at optimal level in a safe, equal and enabling environment

Mission: IWF works with other stakeholders for promoting the concept of wellbeing and happiness for better health, peace and more productivity. IWF acts as a learning center for evidence based wellbeing practices at individual and institution level.

Major Objectives:

  1. Spreading (at all level) the sense of happiness and wellbeing as key to sustainable development 
  2. Introduce an integrated model of Wellbeing for addressing poverty, inequality and injustice
  3. Advocate for Integrating mental health into generic primary health care
  4. Empowering people with mental health problems to support and advocate for themselves and for each other

Target Population: households living in poverty, victims of gender based violence, person with disability and with chronic health conditions, minority groups, persons exposed to and/or displaced, people affected by disasters or other emergencies, elderly people, widow etc.


Current Program Components:

  1. Awareness raising programs for reducing stigma associated with mental illness
  2. Internationally accredited Mental Health First Aid training program
  3. Advocacy for modern mental health act 
  4. Referral services for integrated and comprehensive mental health and wellbeing services
  5. Facilitate activism of Bangladesh Mental Health Network

Future Programs:

  • Introduce Mental Health and Wellbeing programs in primary schools
  • Establish a Wellbeing Center as a model for learning evidence based strategies/practices
  • Facilitate dialogue for promoting the concept of wellbeing for better health, peace and productivity
  • Research on evidence based practices for mental health and wellbeing
  • Provide culturally appropriate care and treatment in the community using trained and supervised community and non-specialist health workers 
  • Build self-help group and connect people with specialist help