Helping Traumatized Youth find Healing and Hope
EmancipAction works to provide healing mental health care for some of our world’s most severely abused and neglected children. Our evidence based, cost effective methodology has been designed and tested with the support of world renowned experts in the field of mental health from Columbia and Harvard Universities and has been adapted for our very special and unique clients in partnership with local experts. We recruit "high EQ” members from the local community who have a heart for kids. We train, employ and supervise them in their service as mental health workers (MHWs). These counsellors work directly with children, developing the mindset and skills needed for healing and enduring mental health. Our MHWs also work with/train institutional caregivers, to build capacity to deliver transformational, trauma informed care.

We invest in academic research to validate and build on our model. We invest in technologies to support scale implementation. We focus on what we are good at and partner with best in class organizations to give kids who have endured far too much, a better shot at a restored life.

Building Trauma Care Capacity Where It Is Needed Most:


The Problem:

  • 9000+ childcare institutions in India; home to estimated 400K+ children
  • Children are often victims of trafficking, sexual and physical abuse
  • Caregivers lack training, accountability, transparency; audits reveal widespread abuse and re-victimization across institutions
  • Children burdened with fear, anger, guilt and shame; many suffer from anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation.
  • Massive undersupply of trained mental health professionals


Our Solution:

  • EmancipAction recruits, trains and employs community members to work as Mental Health Workers
  • EmancipAction’s MHWs provide group therapy to help children understand their human rights; improve self-awareness and self-esteem; and build the skills necessary to deal with the effects of trauma in healthy ways
  • Our MHWs also train caregivers to better understand the effects of trauma and to promote a healthy culture of trauma-informed caregiving

Mental Health Solutions for
Vulnerable Teens

We are working alongside global mental health experts and investing in primary research to establish effective, safe and practical mental health solutions for vulnerable children in institutionalized care.

Update: COVID-19 has put a temporary hold on our research as we are unable to continue our work directly with children and their caregivers in the current environment. We expect to resume our research when conditions allow us to safely do so.
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EmanipAction’s Savera program was launched in 2018 in collaboration with Sangath, a leading mental health organization in India, along with global experts at Harvard and Columbia Universities.

Savera is an evidence based, scalable mental health program designed to fill a gap in care and research, specifically addressing the needs of abused and neglected children living in India’s Childcare Institutions.

Through Savera, we work to address the acute mental health needs of the young clients we serve, while also working with their adult caregivers who are, often, victims of trauma and abuse themselves. We equip both our young clients and their caregivers with the understanding and tools they need to heal and make healthy progress toward their individual goals, and to create a healing environment within the home based on trauma informed care.

Phase 2 Feasibility and Acceptability trials were completed for Savera in our year ending February, 2020.

Phase 3 Efficacy trials have been temporarily suspended due to legislation and security concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic

We are using a "train the trainer” approach to develop a corps of mental health advocates for vulnerable and abused children in India. Our experts select, hire and train candidates from the local community to become mental health workers (MHWs) to serve in childcare institutions.

Update: While COVID-19 has limited our direct work with clients, we are exploring the potential of distance learning to meet the growing mental health needs of kids in institutional care in India and around the developing world.
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We believe that effective mental health care requires deep cultural understanding. The best care is provided in a client’s native language by a trained individual with a high emotional quotient (EQ) and with relevant contextual and social experience.

EmancipAction works to recruit high potential candidates from among the local community to train as mental health workers (MHWs) to serve the unique mental health needs of vulnerable children resident in childcare institutions in India.

Our MHW’s work directly with children to give them the tools to process trauma and heal, while also training housemothers to promote a climate of trauma informed care.

EmancipAction’s experts supervise and support these MHWs as they build their skills and develop their craft.

Children who have endured physical and mental abuse often deal with their trauma in destructive ways when good mental health care is not provided.

Our MHW’s work directly with children to give them the tools to understand, process and heal from the abuses they have endured. Our curriculum is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectic Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and gives children the tools and skills needed to adjust unhealthy attitudes and behaviours where necessary to build positive relationships, and lead a healthy, productive life.
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Previous studies have shown the dramatic impact that good mental health support can have for young victims of trauma. One such study showed that young trauma victims who had not received such support remained vulnerable, subject to abuse and were re-victimized at a rate of 80%.

Conversely, when trauma survivors received informed, healing care, they were able to heal, and restore or reform their lives successfully at a rate of 80%.

While true "mental freedom” and long term restoration requires years of practice and ongoing support, we know that the sooner we invest in healing care, the sooner we can end the cycle of violence.

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