Bhor Foundation is a not-for-profit trust set up by Jhilmil Breckenridge and Namarita Kathait in New Delhi. After years of mental health advocacy and working in the fields of domestic violence, women’s rights, and working to eradicate stigma and create more inclusive spaces around disability and mental health, Jhilmil believes the time has come to take this work even higher, to soar.. Bhor means dawn, and all of us involved with Bhor hope that we can usher in a new dawn for mental health, not just in India, but everywhere. Many thanks to Vedika for this wonderful name suggestion!

One of our first two projects is an anthology of stories around mental health. Written in a non fiction narrative style, this book will help people affected realise they are not alone; this book will give a voice to those nameless, faceless sufferers, and this book will also show the often difficult task faced by caregivers of those affected. Namarita Kathait and Jhilmil Breckenridge will be mostly writing, editing and curating these stories, and we welcome participation from other writers to submit to this project. Our second project is taking poetry and art into prisons and asylums. Why prisons, you may ask, as Bhor is a mental health initiative. Well, there is a deep intersectionality between incarceration and mental health; mental health issues pervade prisons and many other spaces. We are looking deeply at asylums and prisons because of the aspect of incarceration, and often creativity blooming, providing much needed catharsis. This work has been done successfully in many countries and it is time to start closer to home.

Other than these two big projects, we will continue to provide resources and do advocacy in the field of mental health. Strongly against the idea that mental illness is an imbalance in the brain, and fiercely against involuntary treatment and forced psychiatry, Bhor Foundation aims to try and help society, institutions and sufferers understand and adopt Section 16 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml).

Here’s to a new dawn. Welcome to Bhor.

–Jhilmil Breckenridge, Managing Trustee