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mentally ill man

With over 450 million people suffering from mental illness globally, BasicNeeds strives to work with people with mental illness and epilepsy as they are some of the most marginalised people in the world. Since our inception, we have reached over half a million people around the world. However, there are still many more in urgent need of assistance.

For us to continue our work we depend on you. Your gift not only funds every aspect of our current work – community based treatment, livelihoods support, self-help groups – but also helps us to build the capacity of others to deliver high quality care and to reform mental health policies and practices.

You can also contribute by volunteering with us which will help us achieve our goal of reaching out to at least a million more people in the next five years.

How your money is used

BasicNeeds spends 93% of its annual expenditure directly on charitable activities.


Meet our supporters


Interview with Nick Hewson (High Net Donor)

Nick Hewson with Akkulappa and village animatorNick Hewson is a successful Businessman and Entrepreneur, whose diverse skills and powerful drive have enabled him to build an enviable career CV over the years.  Despite battling with epilepsy since the age of 13, he believes in essence that a positive spin can always be put on the curve balls that life throws you, and –now in drug controlled remission- he invests time and money supporting BasicNeeds with whom he has a long-standing relationship;


1.   How did you get involved with BasicNeeds?

“In 2002, I participated in a Leaders Quest visit to India (Mumbai and Bangalore), utilising fundamental business tools to Build Capacity in a developing country. A chance meeting with D M Naidu on a bus (Founder of BasicNeeds India) opened my eyes to the work that BasicNeeds conducts and it significantly affected me and propelled me to return a number of times to India to offer my assistance to BasicNeeds – doing such work as helping produce academic papers to present to the WHO.”

“I found it very powerful to see communities treating people differently, when before there was stigma and discrimination”.

2.   What makes BasicNeeds unique and what does it offer the supporter?

“I really feel with BasicNeeds that my money goes to the end user. With a 93%  operating efficiency, I know that Chris (Underhill, Founder Director) runs a tight ship and that my money goes directly to where its needed, producing results on the ground. Other Development Organisations have to contract out to a lot of third parties, including data and statistics collection agencies. BasicNeeds does this all in-house which saves a lot of money and inefficiency. It (BasicNeeds) is run on a good Business Model which I admire.”


Steve Fleming, MindCycle rider (Event Fundraiser)

Mind Cycle Africa


“As a neuroscientist, I appreciate the close connection between brain and mind..a healthy mind is arguably even more important than a healthy body. It’s central to our sense of self, to who we are – our well-being, from when we wake up, through our relationships with close others and work colleagues, to a good night’s sleep at the end of the day. And yet modern medicine does not understand the workings of the mind, and many societies around the world neglect or even demonise mental health problems. Mental health needs a holistic approach……BasicNeeds is committed to developing mental health services in countries (where) very little currently exists”









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    "I used to wander away from home and walk around aimlessly but after attending a mental health clinic close to my home I began to feel much better. Through a self-help group I learnt to farm and today I am a proud owner of a farm. I am very happy as I am able to support my family."
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