Mental Health Training Manual – Module 2 (Reference Manual and Facilitator’s Guide) titled “Mental Health Training for Medical Officers and Health Assistants” was endorsed by National Health Training Center (NHTC) on 26th December 2017 through a final meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee held at NHTC, Teku, Kathmandu.A total of 25 participants attended the meeting comprising high level government officials from Ministry of Health (MoH), Department of Health Services (DoHS), National Health Training Center (NHTC), Primary Health care Revitalization Division (PHCRD), Management Division,Nepal Health Sector Support Programme (NHSSP), along with academicians from Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), Institute of Medicine (IOM), and TU Central Department of Psychology and representatives from various I/NGOs like World Health Organization, CVICT Nepal, CMC Nepal, KOSHISH Nepal and UMN. The final meeting collected feedback on the reference manual and facilitator’s guide from the committee, technical experts and stakeholders to incorporate suggestions and finalize these two documents.
The reference manual and facilitator’s guide were prepared by Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) Nepal with the technical and financial support of Nepal Health Sector Support Programme (NHSSP) under the leadership of National Health Training Centre (NHTC), Teku. These documents were based on ‘Standard Treatment Protocol (STP) for Mental Health Services into the Primary Health Care System’ developed by PHCRD, ‘mhGAP Intervention Guide for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in non-specialized health setting Version 2.0’ developed by WHO, manuals published and used by TPO Nepal and CMC Nepal, training manual developed by Management Division and other relevant resource materials.
Mr. Shree Krishna Bhatta, Director of National Health Training Centre,chaired the program and emphasized on the need for a standard reference manual for training of Medical Officers and Health Assistants. Mr. Pitambar Koirala, Project Co-ordinator and Dr. Kamal Gautam, Psychiatrist from TPO Nepal gave presentations on the reference manual and the facilitators’ guide respectively.
After the presentations, feedback on the documents was collected through discussion session. Professor Dr. Saroj Prasad Ojha, Head,Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, TUTH said that there existed ahuge gap of a standard training manual in the capacity building of doctors and paramedics which has been expected to be fulfilled by the Module. He thanked the Nepal government for this noteworthy work.
Mr. Bhogendra Raj Dotel, Director of Primary Health Care Revitalization Division, said that the training will be rolled out nationwide in the near future; district hospitals and Primary Health Centers in the first level. However, he highlighted that the quality of trainingneeds to be assured and this package should be used by everyone uniformly.
Finally, Mr. Shree Krishna Bhatta thanked the technical team for their continuous effort and hard work in preparing a quality package, which could be a great advantage in health system strengthening in the future. He also thanked NHSSP and TPO Nepal for their support in preparing the Module 2. He stated that the Module has been endorsed by the National Health Training Center and closed the meeting.