publications (1)

SCARF has been equally active in the field of awareness and education.  Myths and misconceptions abound in the understanding of mental illness leading to delay in seeking treatment.  SCARF, therefore, identified this as an important area of work and has organized several awareness programs not only in urban areas, but in rural pockets using indigenous modes of communication.  Video films and audio visual materials have been produced on the illness and its management.

SCARF’S Awareness Materials

Over the years, we have brought out a lot of awareness and educational material for various target groups.

Some of them are:

Pamphlets and Hand-outs

  • For Families – “Facts for the Family” in English and some  Indian languages, booklets on Crisis Management and medication.
  • For Health workers – Manuals in Tamil and English providing an overview of mental illnesses, their detection and management.
  • For School teachers – To help identify and handle common behavioural problems among school children.
  • Posters which can be transported and displayed at various sites.

Video Films

  • On activities of SCARF
  • Twenty years of SCARF
  • FACES for families
  • Understanding schizophrenia
  • In-dignity- on stigma and help seeking

World Mental Health Week

World Mental Health Week has been regularly observed in the first week of October every year.

A major source of pride for SCARF is the enactment of a skit “Nambikkai” ( hope) by our improved clients. This has been performed by them in over 50 places– schools, colleges, slums, villages, melas etc. This was done between 2003 and 2005.

SCARF’s Anti-Stigma Programme


SCARF is now the Indian co-ordinating center for the anti-stigma programme of the World Psychiatric Association. This was launched on 6 Feb 2004 by none other than our beloved President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam .

It was a matter of great pride and joy to us when in an absolutely overflowing Music Academy Hall, the President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalaam inaugurated the 20th anniversary celebrations of SCARF. He also launched the SCARF-WPA anti-stigma programme. In his inimitable and informal style, he made hundreds of school children gathered to take an oath that they would be kind to the mentally ill and work for their betterment. Lakshmi Narasimhan, whose mother suffers from schizophrenia gave a poignant account of his childhood, torn between a mentally disabled mother and a father who had frequent attacks of epileptic seizures. The event was very well covered in themedia.

Policy and Legislation

SCARF has also gone beyond microlevel planning and has been actively engaged in influencing legislation and welfare programs for the mentally disabled at the level of the state and central governments. Members of SCARF serve on the panels of several national and international committees including WHO. SCARF also actively liaises with other organisations.

Dr. Thara in her capacity as the chairperson of the Indian Psychiatric Society was largely instrumental in developing an instrument to measure psychiatric disability. This is called “IDEAS”and has been gazetted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India.