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Our Most Troubling MadnessCase Studies in Schizophrenia Across Cultures$
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T.M. Luhrmann and Jocelyn Marrow

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520291089

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520291089.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Work and Respect in Chennai

Work and Respect in Chennai

(p.71) Case 4 Work and Respect in Chennai
Our Most Troubling Madness

Giulia Mazza

University of California Press

In India, relatively few of those who are mentally ill live without their families. Yet some do, either because they are abandoned or because they flee. The Banyan is a non-governmental organization founded in 1993 to rescue poor, abandoned, homeless women with mental health issues. Since its inception, the Banyan has treated over two thousand persons with mental illness. They bring in women who are often too incapacitated to remember their own names, and they care for them and treat them and teach them to work. They provide food, clothing, shelter, medication, general healthcare, therapeutic activities, and occupational training–all for free. They have been able to return over a thousand of them to their natal homes. Its remarkable success arises in part from the way these families understand the problems created by illness: first and foremost as failure to work, not as an inner experience with symptoms of distressing voices. This chapter illustrates this process through the life of a woman with schizophrenia abandoned by her family.

Keywords:   Chennai, Homelessness, Schizophrenia, Hearing voices, Work

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