The Banyan has always placed its clients at the centre of the therapeutic process. In continuation with that trend, we began working collaboratively to revamp all our centres, to make them more colourful, vibrant and comfortable for our clients.
On March 1st, led by long-time volunteer of The Banyan and world renowned photographer, Christoph Von Toggenburg, we began the #JoyfulBanyan Project.
Colours have a strong impact on the way we feel and perceive the world around us. Research has shown that altering therapeutic environments to make them more vibrant and colourful can have positive psychological impact on residents, particularly in mood. It is critical that residential care centres exude a sense of warmth and friendliness, such that their external surroundings can also facilitate recovery.
Mr. Christoph Von Toggenburg led several discussions with staff, students of The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health (BALM) and residents of The Banyan on what helps them feel more at home and comfortable in a mental health centre.
We reimagined our reception space with bright colours and warm lighting. The students embellished the space with illustrations of nature: radiant birds and lush trees.
Upstairs in our terrace, where many of our clients engage in vocational training on a daily basis, they worked on red bricks were transformed into a polychromatic puzzle.
This project will continue for the next 6 months as we reimagine the spaces across our centres, culminating on World Mental Health Day in October. Considering we are working with the Government as technical advisors for mental health centres, we hope that this is one of many ways by which we can be examples of changing the way built environments in mental health centres are created.
The chief guest of this initiation was renowned celebrity photographer G. VenketRam, a long-time supporter and volunteer of The Banyan. We also announced a brand new social media campaign, #1in4 – telling stories of the fierce and resilient individuals we’ve had the opportunity to know, raising awareness on the plight of homeless individuals with mental health issues who emerge from distress with new found strength and fervour for life.
We invite you to participate in this campaign by sharing your personal experiences, encounters, and viewpoints with homelessness, grit and mental illness with the hashtag #1in4
You can also participate by volunteering your time to help us with the revamp or through any of our other volunteer drives .