We publish stories and insights from the people and organisations we work with, to platform their voices and inspire others
Ember Investment Insights: Learnings from our debut year as funders
Ember's investment phase from 2022-2023 combined flexible grants with light-touch mentoring support to enable 5 community-based mental health projects to continue strengthening their sustainability. Our key takeaways, as shared by the projects working on the ground, in this blog.
The Caravan of Joy and Tears: PHOLA documentary showcases the power of art and community in healing trauma
PHOLA, one of the partners from our first ever cohort, is the subject of a new documentary film showcasing the impact of their work in supporting survivors of gender-based violence in South Africa
How can funders support community-based mental health organisations to thrive? Four practitioners share their view
In our latest Ember Live webinar, four practitioners working at the grassroots of global mental health shared their insights about how funders and philanthropists can do more and do better in this sector
Collaboration for change in mental health: MHSUA Ethiopia convenes its first stakeholders' meeting
Mental Health Service Users Association are key players in Ethiopia's mental health sector but for too long their input has not been taken seriously. That changes now. Read about how their stakeholder event brought together high profile stakeholders to showcase the expertise of lived experience and spark commitments for collaboration among those who want to create positive change in Ethiopia's mental health system.
A Home Away from Home: A Photowalk with CAFS
Imagine being able to access mental health support in a relaxing space instead of a clinic or hospital! That's CAFS, Sri Lanka- and through these photos, journey through their home-like space where they provide psychosocial services to families and young people.
Measuring Impact: Monitoring & Evaluation
M&E systems are crucial for community-based mental health projects to improve their work & also demonstrate their achievements. However, setting it up is a complex task. Here's a glimpse of the key thinking points to set one up and how Ember implemented it in collaboration with SPANS.
COVID-19 Stories of Change: CAFS, Sri Lanka
CAFS' work revolves around the home-like space where they deliver counselling and other services, which had to be shut with the onset of COVID-19 pandemic. Read their journey of transition and how they have adapted their services to continue supporting their clients in these testing times.
COVID-19 Stories of Change: Buena Semilla, Guatemala
Central to their work is the collective in-person approach, which was no longer possible with the pandemic. Yet, a small core team adapted using digital tools & coordinated with local partners to support vulnerable populations in Guatemala. Here's their journey.
Behind the screen: A Zoom portrait series
We are fortunate to engage every day with incredible community-based mental health initiatives across the globe - even though we've never met face-to-face. We often highlight the work that these projects are doing, but we rarely get the opportunity to share the stories and voices of the people behind this work. This World Mental Health Day, we put the spotlight on the amazing people doing this work.
COVID-19 Historias de cambio: Huertomanías, Ecuador
Tener que dejar atrás el huerto urbano durante la cuarentena significó no solo que los cultivos restantes tuvieron que ser abandonados, sino también que todas las actividades generadoras de ingresos que requerían la presencia física del equipo se tuvieron que detener. La inseguridad sobre los recursos económicos de la organización se volvió más dura que nunca.
Service before self or self before service? The paradox of the mental health of mental health workers
On airplanes, we’re told to put our oxygen mask first in emergency before helping others. Mental health workers are at the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle. If they can't support their own mental health, how will they deliver care? We explore the paradox in this piece.
Buena Semilla wins Gates Award for Planting Seeds and Nurturing Change
In May 2018, the Gates Foundation announced an initial seed grant to Buena Semilla as part of Grand Challenges Explorations. This $100,000 USD award will allow Buena Semilla to extend their unique approach to women’s psychosocial health and wellbeing to new target populations in indigenous communities of Guatemala.
The Tree that Jaya Grew: Using Tree of Life in the Rural Indian Himalayas
Jaya* was only 9 years old when I met her. She lived across the path from the house where I was staying, in a village at the foothills of the Indian Himalayas. The village was quiet most of the time – stumpy mud houses with slate roofs, new pillar-box concrete houses painted lollipop colours, bordered by small step farms where wheat, corn and rice were grown in a cycle throughout the year.
Beneficence and Global Mental Health
I’m sitting in a white pick-up truck with Philip Ode, Coordinator of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Programme (CCMHP) in Benue State, Nigeria. The driver is deftly dodging motorcycle taxis and top-heavy semis loaded with tomatoes, yams, long-horned cattle… they call Benue State “Nigeria’s Food Basket” for a reason.