The Atmiyata Course: Providing Evidence-based Mental Health Support

The Atmiyata Course provides participants skills in evidence-based counselling techniques to identify, reach out, and support persons in distress.

Launched in October 2020, the course has completed 7 batches and successfully trained 83 individuals till date.

The Atmiyata course is based on Atmiyata, our community-led mental health and social care intervention.

In 2021, the World Health Organization listed Atmiyata as one of the 25 good practices for community outreach mental health services in the world. To know more, click here.

Training material for the Atmiyata Course has been developed with funding support from Mariwala Health Initiative and Grand Challenges Canada.

The current batch is open to Indian residents only.

Please note: This course is meant to enhance one’s capacity for self-care, informal mental health care, and support to one’s family, friends & colleagues. It does not equip, qualify, certify or recognise any individual as a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, or any other mental health professional for providing clinical, diagnostic or therapeutic services to persons with mental health problems.

Who is this course for

The Atmiyata course is designed for people who want to provide mental health support using evidence-based techniques.

It is particularly relevant for people with lived experiences, care providers, teachers, educators, mid-level to senior managers, team supervisors, HR professionals, self-motivated individuals, general medical practitioners, mental health professionals, non-profit organisations working on mental health and allied fields such as gender, caste, livelihood, other physical health conditions, and others.

Learning Outcomes

This course will equip you with:

  1. An understanding of mental health and mental health conditions
  2. Evidence-based techniques to reach out to persons in distress (Anxiety & Depression)
  3. Techniques for self-care
  4. Conceptual & practical knowledge of tools to provide mental health support
Duration & Schedule

The total duration of the course is 20 hours, divided between 7 days. These are spread over 5 weekends with each session lasting 3 hours.

2 weeks post course completion, a check-in session is scheduled for participants to share their experience of applying their course learnings to real-life situations.

This is an ONLINE course.

Course Structure

This is an ONLINE course. Classes are conducted on weekends between 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM IST. The medium of instruction is English.

  • Interactive: The sessions include case studies and role plays followed by a feedback session.
  • Individualised: Each intake has a maximum of 10 – 15 participants to ensure they receive adequate support and attention through the learning process.
  • Engaging: Participants are provided with reading material and workbooks to anchor and improve the experience of learning online.


Module 1: Mental health is a spectrum

  • Understanding mental health, stress, and distress
  • Coping mechanisms

Module 2: Knowing more about common and severe mental health conditions

  • Common mental health conditions: Depression & Anxiety
  • Severe mental health conditions and referral pathway
  • Understanding grief

Module 3: Knowing more about severe mental health conditions

  • Severe mental health conditions and referral pathway

Module 4: Knowing more about suicide

  • Overview of suicide and referral pathway

Module 5: Qualities of a good mental health supporter

  • Key ingredients for providing support

Module 6: Learning evidence-based techniques for providing mental health support

  • Active listening
  • Problem solving
  • Behavioural activation

Module 7: Relaxation techniques

  • Learning and practising relaxation techniques

Module 8: Understanding social determinants of mental health  

  • Impact of socio-cultural factors on mental health

Module 9: Knowing more about self-care

  • Self-care tips and techniques

Module 10:Practice sessions to support a person in distress  

  • Supporting persons who are grieving and/ or dealing with Anxiety/ Depression
  • Role plays for practising techniques
Team Structure


Kaustubh Joag, Psychiatrist

Swetha Ranganathan, MSc (Psychology of Mental Health)

Palak Korde, MA (Anthropology)


Jasmine Kalha, MA (Social Work), MPhil (Sociology)

Course Coordinator

Nimisha Ajaikumar, MSc (Clinical Psychology)

Communications Team

Meera Damji, Program Director (Communications) & Senior Research Fellow

Sufwan Hasan, Visual Communications Designer


Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate from the Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, Indian Law Society, Pune.

Application Process & Fee

Participants are required to submit their application form online. As we have small batch sizes for this course, the team will shortlist the final cohort.

Entry requirements
The current batch is open to Indian residents only

6100 + 18% GST

We strongly encourage persons from marginalised and vulnerable communities to apply. We have limited fee waiver seats. Please let us know in the application form if you would need a fee waiver.