mhBeF is a project funded by Grand Challenges Canada and led by Makerere University School of Public Health. mhBeF is developing an evidence-based Comprehensive Community-based Mental Health Services (CCMHS) package, in accordance with the mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP), for persons with severe mental disorders (PWSMD) and epilepsy in three post-conflict countries: Uganda, Liberia, and Nepal. mhBeF is providing community-based services that (a) reduce the treatment gap between need and interventions, (b) promote individual and family livelihood, and (c) reduce stigma, with the ultimate goal of improving functioning and productivity of PWSMD and their families. These form the three components of the CCMHS package. This package will be built upon expanding efforts in each country to integrate mental health care within primary health care using mhGAP guidelines with a special emphasis on strengthening community mental health services. The developed intervention package will undergo rigorous evaluation in the countries to demonstrate effectiveness. The project has a focus on capacity building in health services and research with a cross-national design to promote exchange and innovation through south-south collaboration among the three countries. mhBeF will develop a model that has potential for broad application, taking into account the diverse cultural, economic and resource needs of low and middle income countries (LAMIC). This project is being implemented with partnership of Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) in the Pyuthan district of Nepal from 2012- 2015.
Till date mhBeF has provided training on “Integration of Mental Health into Primary Health Care” to 55 health workers from 17 health facilities and district hospital in Pyuthan. Similarly, 153 Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) have been given training on psychosocial and mental health, CIDT (Community Informant Detection Tool) referral and home based care. Out of these, 24 FCHVs were provided additional 3 days training package on conducting anti-stigma programs and patient support group in the community. With the help of trained health workers, PWSMD have been enrolled into the health facilities for mental health services which include psychotropic medications and psychosocial support. A total of 728 cases with mental health problems particularly psychosis, bipolar disorder, epilepsy and depression have received services from the health facilities and 207 cases have received numerous sessions of psychosocial counseling till date. Additionally, the patients and their caretakers are involved in income generating activities through 11 patient support groups in 6 VDCs.
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