JSI RESOURCES: Publications

Strengthening Access to Mental Health Services in Sierra Leone


This technical brief highlights the work of JSI's Advancing Partners & Communities project's work in Sierra Leone strengthening mental health services, with a particular focus on Ebola survivors.

The brief outline's JSI's interventions at the various levels of the health care system—community, primary health care, hospital, and national levels—as well as the results of those interventions.

Almost 1,000 health care workers have been trained in mental health, and 6,672 mental health consultations have been conducted. Advancing Partners also helped strengthen the capacity of CHW peer supervisors on survivors health needs, including mental health, in the 14 districts. This training has been cascaded down to other CHWs at health facilities in the 14 districts. At the community level, almost 14,000 CHWs have been sensitized to mental health (MH) and are able to identify and refer MH cases.

As part of the work at the primary health care level, the project has reached more than 1000 healthcare workers working in 125 PHUs in the six priority districts with psychological first aid training. At the district level, the project has contributed to the creation of a national mental health network and deployment of mental health nurses to every district, establishing mental health clinics in every government hospital. Furthermore, the 20 mental health nurses regularly receive training through an intensive program of mentoring, supervision, and continuous professional development sessions. Advancing Partners has reached more than 700 people in 40 communities across the six priority districts through Community Healing Dialogues.

The project has successfully supported the MOHS in developing and drafting the National Mental Health Policy and a five-year strategic plan for Sierra Leone. JSI/Advancing Partners & Communities. 2018.

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