PRIME at the WHO mhGAP Forum
The mhGAP Forum is an annual meeting held at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, and is attended by UN Member States, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, including UN agencies, international development agencies, philanthropic foundations, research institutes, universities and WHO Collaborating Centres. The purpose of the meeting is to support coordinated action in the implementation of mhGAP - WHO’s Programme to scale up care for mental, neurological and substance use disorders.
Prof Crick Lund, PRIME CEO, attended the mhGAP Forum on 9-10 October 2017, which included the launch of the WHO mhGAP Operations manual - an exciting new tool designed to assist district health management teams with the planning and implementation of mhGAP programmes in primary health care settings. mhGAP is now being implementing in over 100 countries around the world, and the manual will be vital to these ongoing efforts. PRIME has made a substantial contribution to the mhGAP Operations manual, in the form of technical material, tools and case studies. PRIME’s experience of developing, implementing and evaluating district level mental health care plans in Ethiopia, India, Nepal, South Africa and Uganda is directly relevant to WHO’s work on mhGAP.
The manual was circulated at the meeting in a “pre-publication” form, and some further work is required to get feedback from WHO partners in the coming 2-3 months, after which it will be published officially and made available on the WHO website.
Prof Lund also had the opportunity to give a short plenary presentation on PRIME, and share lessons on adapting and implementing mhGAP for policy and research. "There was a lot of interest from various people and organisations, approaching me to ask for more information about PRIME tools, resources, and potential collaborations," said Prof Lund. “Its great for PRIME to make a contribution to this greater global effort to provide mental health care, especially to vulnerable poor populations who might not otherwise have access.”