Both physical and mental health as well as nutrition and wild food systems are under the purview of health and wellness.
Monitoring health status in local villages is carried out with a special focus on pregnant women, infants and individuals with chronic illnesses such as hypertension, tuberculosis, leprosy, thyroid disorders, and diabetes. Health education and awareness classes are held on anemia, leprosy, antenatal and postnatal care, nutrition, hygiene and substance use. This effort is being supported by the Kerala Forest Department and establishes links with the public health system to better treat these illnesses.
The mental health programme is active in three working areas: Aracode, Nilambur, and Sigur. Many individuals with mental health issues have been identified in these three areas, and Keystone identified the need for intervention to be highest there. The health team consists of a psychologist and health workers from Keystone, and by building alliances with BANYAN, NAWA, ASHWINI, and other institutions working on health, they work to identify some of the severe mental disorders in the villages around the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR). The patients are offered medical support and treatment, which the Keystone health team ensures is followed up by patients and caregivers. There are also public health programmes currently in development.
Nutrition & Wild Food Systems
Keystone is trying to improve and create nutritional security and food sovereignty for people in the NBR. The organisation is also trying to spread information to community members about the nutritional value of traditional foods, and is working to bring back old systems, cultural values, foods, techniques into a new world. One of the examples of dietary improvement through traditional foods is through the reintroduction of honey as a processed sugar substitute.