Mental health stigma social stigma is characterised by prejudicial attitudes and discriminating behaviour directed towards individuals with mental health problem. Most societies discriminate and ostracise those who are sufferers.
In light of this, two people, Sally Hulugalle along with Kamini de Soysa started a charity called the Nest. It began after a visit of Unit 2 in Mulleriyawa and seeing the state of the people suffering from mental illness. The Nest provides a home away from home for women who are ostracised by family and communities because of their mental health. There is dignity here and people are treated with the care they need and deserve.
Many people at the Nest have lived at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Angoda, for a long time. The Nest halfway home works to strengthen families and individuals. In 2004 Nest signed an MOU with the Ministry of Health to run a Skills Development Centre at the Half Way Home.
The Nest provides special skills such as music, sewing and cultivation. There are 3 part time workers who help in the administration work of the shop, the library and the Kitchen. The aim at the Nest is to promote happiness (in families, individuals and the environment) to remove the yoke of labeling, institutionalisation and stigmatisation, to promote understanding in the areas of mental health and well-being, to promote justice and freedom, to help women, children, families and individuals to cope within their communities. to encourage development in public services and the environment. The end result Nest hopes to achieve is to help the women get back to normality and on with their lives.
The Nest has an educational institution called the Gladys School. The school provides formal courses to improve understanding of issues relevant to community development. Residential facilities are available. At the end of each course, successful students are awarded a Certificate of Competence. The Gladys school propagates the particular vision connected with Nest. Training women to earn a livelihood by not having to leave home is encouraged.
To get in touch with Nest, the charity has offices and community health projects in the following locations:
Kare House, 241 Beach Road, Palliyawatte, Wattala, telephone: +94 11 2931680
Halfway Home, Mulleriyawa – Skills Development Centre, telephone: +94 11 4937591.
Dumbara Gedara, 434/154 Kiripattiya Road, Kanahampitiya, Mediwaka , UdudumbaraTelephone: 81 5622003
Galle District: Telephone: 776952191
Anuradhapura District: Telephone: 722042527
Mannar, Killinochchi, Vavuniya Districts: Telephone: 77 7705294
Nest Niche (Office): 42, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 3. Telephone: 112576278, Fax: 112576031
If you would like to give towards the work of the cause the contact person is Anoma Perera, Finance Manager.
Bank: Hatton National Bank, Greenpath Branch
38 Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka.
Bank Account Name: Nest
Account No: 005010155047
Swift Code: HBLILKLX
Nest is an independent, community based, local, Mental Health Organization, registered with the Ministry of Social Services since 1987 and an ‘Approved Charity’ by Act of Parliament.