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Mental Health

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Advancing Care for Mental Illness Through Local Initiatives

Mental health problems contribute to poor health as much as physical diseases, yet treatment, particularly in less-developed countries, is often unavailable. We work to bring mental health concerns to the forefront of care to meet the needs of individuals and communities everywhere.

As with all our services, we build the capacity of local health personnel and community members to provide contextually sensitive care. We develop training programs for health care providers and volunteers who can reach those in need and we integrate those services into health programs.

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Mental Health

Providing Mental Health Services in Crisis Settings
After natural disasters, epidemics, wars, and other tragedies, people need mental health services. But a lack of training, awareness, and resources for people struggling with trauma and mental illness often keep people from getting the care they need.
We train health workers to facilitate referrals and provide follow up for patients suffering from mental illness. In addition, we provide primary health care workers with psychological first aid training, build and equip psychiatric units, and provide technical support to local organizations that help people with mental illnesses.

Meeting the Mental Health Needs of People Living with HIV
Mental health problems occur frequently among people living with HIV. Poor mental health is especially dangerous because it can prevent people from adhering to their treatment. Yet mental illness is often not considered in HIV treatment.
We work to integrate mental health and harmful substance use services into HIV care by training health care professionals to screen for and respond to mental health problems and provide basic counseling and referral services.

Dispelling Mental Health Misconceptions
Many people won’t turn to specialists for help with mental health issues because they don’t think of them as something that needs treatment, often because of their traditional or cultural beliefs. We implement education and sensitization campaigns that raise communities’ awareness and understanding of mental health.
Our mental health approaches align with WHO’s Mental Health Gap Action Programme.

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