Pedagogy

BALM Campus
Coursework is only the beginning of your education at BALM. The programmes at BALM are designed to create an engaging environment that will help you grow academically, professionally and socially.

BALM’s vision is grounded in the need to develop professionals who challenge status quo, and are embedded in a strong value framework that encourages the promotion of social inclusion, equity and justice. Our pedagogy fosters a spirit of enquiry and academic rigour with a focus on the self and reflexive practice. The co-location of an academic institution with a mental health service is an attempt to bridge the gap between theory and practice and help students adapt to the layered realities of social problems. BALM therefore, is geared to prepare individuals for situations where several complexities may intersect. ALM is built on the foundation of the knowledge that in practice, apart from specialization, the ability to engage with concerns outside one’s expertise is essential and students are therefore encouraged and exposed to multiple disciplines such as social work, entrepreneurship, leadership and management, inculcating a trans-disciplinary approach.

Graduates are encouraged to think creatively, and grapple with concepts and theories. Themes that are discussed include, but are not limited to, What is abnormality? What is distress? What are complex problems? How do you define empathy? How can we stimulate attitudinal change? What is meaning and purpose? Can we build resilience?

Practicum - With multiple options across varied locations across the country, you will find the perfect practicum experience. Innovative Research - Centre for Research and Social Action in Mental Health offers students the opportunity to cutting edge research, and to pursue individual research interests.
Global opportunities - BALM offers students the opportunity to pursue further education / research with institutional partners across the world that will build professional skills in an international setting Student Life - The dynamic campus ecosystem allows students to experience urbanicity and rurality. Whether an outdoorsy, a history and culture buff, or into sports, you will find outlets for involvement and leadership.

Office of Fieldwork Practice:

The Office of Fieldwork Practice (OFP) at BALM presents students with multiple opportunities to become a part of the professional community, where they learn to integrate classroom knowledge with practice and develop your social work skills and identity. Field instruction provides an opportunity to participate in "hands-on" meaningful service and gain invaluable professional experience.

Students will work closely with OFP faculty to identify placement sites appropriate to curriculum objectives, learning goals and individual interests. You will spend two full days (16 hours per week) at fieldwork placements across two semesters, gaining a total of over 300 hours of hands on experience.

Some of the field sites you will have access to include:

  • Ashadeep (Assam)
  • Mental hospitals (wherever accessible)
  • The Banyan’s programmes and sites
  • Mental health work initiated by user-survivors (rural and peri urban sites)
  • Tribal mental health programmes (Kotagiri / Aghai)
  • Emmanuel Health Association (EHA) - Uttarakhand
  • Mental Health Action Trust (MHAT), Kerala
  • Basic Health India (Udaipur)
  • Taabar
  • Aajevika Bureau
  • SNEHA, Mumbai
  • Sambandh, Delhi
  • Keystone Institute
  • Centre for Policy Research
  • Sangath, Goa
  • Gudalur Adivasi Hospital
  • NIMHANS
  • Koshish, Mumbai

Research presentations

PhD Scholars, comprising of staff of The Banyan & BALM, who are enrolled with VU University, conduct monthly meetings to discuss interesting findings, possible collaborations between scholars and presentations on research methodologies. Attendance of the meetings by students is encouraged, in order to inform students of research undertaken at The Banyan & BALM and to stimulate an environment of curiosity, integration of practice and theory and academic rigour.

Language Lab

Since students from all over the country study at BALM, a language lab and writing centre that offers courses in the following:

  1. English language (spoken and written) - Wednesday and Thursday 3:30 - 5:30 pm
  2. Scientific writing
  3. Tamil language classes - Wednesday 3:30 - 4:30 pm 
  4. Basic research skills