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Catalogue Item

Mental Health and Development Model

Organization: Basic Needs

Country: Africa; Asia

Forum: Mental health

BasicNeeds was founded in 2000 with the aim of addressing the hugely under-resourced and often neglected issue of mental health. Their Mental Health and Development Model is designed to empower people with mental health problems living in poverty through community-oriented treatment and self-help support. The model comprises five inter-linking modules designed to address service users’ medical, social, and economic needs:

  • Capacity building: Identifying, mobilizing, sensitizing and training Mental Health and Development stakeholders
  • Community mental health: Enabling effective and affordable community-oriented mental health treatment services which successfully re-integrate people with mental illness into their families and communities
  • Livelihoods: Facilitating opportunities for affected individuals to gain or regain ability to work, earn and contribute to family and community
  • Research: Generating evidence from the practice of Mental Health and Development
  • Collaboration: Managing partnerships and relationships with stakeholders involved in implementing the model on the ground and/or responsible for policy and practice decisions

Interventions are designed around these themes, taking into account the local needs and context and making best use of local resources.

In the 14 years since its foundation, BasicNeeds had reached over 617,000 people. They monitor and assess their impact quarterly, and have reported the following:

  • affected individuals gaining access to treatment has increased from 49% to 86%
  • 73% reported a reduction in symptoms
  • 80% of the 117,452 mentally ill people in the programme in 2013 had livelihoods, 33% were in productive work and 47% were earning
  • 518 self-help groups with 25,266 members have been established

There are plans to continue to expand the programme and use findings to influence government policy to support community based mental health development oriented approach.

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