PEARL Multidisciplinary Journal

Social Innovation in the Community Rehabilitation of the People with Mental Illness: Cases of Faith Based Initiatives


Many a situations social work approaches in addressing a host of issues like income deprivations, displacement, disability, racism, communal conflicts, and social exclusion can be explained as social innovations, as novel solutions to such issues are needed to make it more sustainable and efficient through social value creation. In Indian situation care giving of the differently abled particularly those having mental illness is a matter of grave concern. Varied approaches including institutionalized care and family and community based care are tried out in different contexts depending on the nature and severity of illness. The present paper tries to examine the rehabilitation of the differently abled through the individual initiatives inspired by faith dimensions of Catholic Church lasting over a period of twenty years in the State of Kerala and outside. The objective is to explore the process and outcome dimensions of such social innovation to find out the motivating drivers which makes this programme sustainable. The personal and familial dedication is also come under the purview of analysis.  The paper is the outcome of the pilot study conducted on the theme as part of the doctoral research of the first author where the study adopted a Grounded Theory Approach and Methodology to analyse and theorise the processes and outcomes of such initiatives. Being a qualitative study a conceptual framework is given to such home based social innovation rooted in faith based dimensions with social value creation for ensuring sustainability leading to a social mission. The committed and sustained involvement of the community and the neighbourhood generated an innovative model for care of the mentally challenged. The preliminary results of the pilot study brings out new relationships and innovative drives and motivations exceptional to the traditional philanthropic methods as well as professional care and rehabilitation approaches thereby characterising social innovation in care giving and rehabilitation of the mentally ill.



Social Innovation, Faith Dimension, Rehabilitation of Persons with Mental Illness, Sustainable Social Mission

Author Affiliations

Prince C P, Shajahan P K

Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai,




volume  2

No 2