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Kimberly Lacroix

Kimberly LacroixName: Kimberly Lacroix 

Institution/Organization: Sangath, Bhopal

Role in PRIME: I am a research officer at PRIME. I oversee the submission of ethics protocols (revision, amendments and reporting), planning and research activities currently taking place through PRIME in addition to other research initiatives. I also oversee the consolidating and documentation of implementation activities taking place through reports and minutes, training for research and data collection. Because of my training in psychology and psychotherapy I also participate in thinking through the implementation of mental health services at the CHCs. I have been instrumental in putting together the supervision procedures we now follow through PRIME (adapted from the PREMIUM project of Sangath). I also assist in supervising the sessions with patients enrolled in the program.

I have been working with PRIME since October 2014 so its been 10 months and 19 days.

What interests me most about working in PRIME is... that it provides the opportunity to think through what we mean when we refer to the term 'primary' when we speak of integration into primary health care. Of what is primary in mental health. To think through questions surrounding integration and implementation of mental health within differently located rural settings in India. While urban mental health/ mental health within urban spaces within has been conceptualised (however diverse and varied such conceptualisations may be), work on mental health in India among what gets classified as 'rural' within the setting that it provides is sparse and still requires to be thought through and researched. PRIME provides an opportunity to think through this aspect of mental health in India.

The biggest challenge working in PRIME is... conversing in different languages.  

If I were not doing what I am doing now, I would be... enrolled in a PhD program studying "homeless mentally ill women" or what I would like to call wandering women and looking at the question of care of the homeless within a de-institutionalized framework, adopting community mental health initiatives to conceptualise 'care' of the homeless in India. Working at the intersections of mental illnesses, development theory and feminism.

Alternately I would be studying adolescent mental health through a community perspective in the slums in Mumbai or be learning and utilizing art-based therapy approaches with patients, specifically through drum circles and body movement therapies.

Gillian Hanslo

Gillian lowresName: Mrs Gillian Hanslo

Institution/Organization: Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health, University of Cape Town

Role in PRIME: I am the project administrator and I have been working with PRIME since June 2011.

What interests me most about working in PRIME is...knowing that what we do is making a very real difference in the lives of many people in the countries where we are operating.  We’re changing the world one PHQ9 questionnaire at a time :)

The biggest challenge working in PRIME is...trying to find solutions that suit all of the institutions concerned, particularly when their systems and procedures are so very different.  

If I were not doing what I am doing now, I would be...curled up on my couch with several good books and a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows.  A slice of cheesecake would also go down well :)


Amit Makan

Amit MakanName: Amit Makan

Institution/Organization: Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health, University of Cape Town

Your role in PRIME: I have been working for PRIME as a Research Uptake Officer since inception in 2011. Having formulated a cross country Research Uptake strategy in consultation with all partners, my role is to drive the implementation of the strategy in order to maximise the use of PRIME’s research by a range of stakeholders, particularly policy makers and practitioners. 

What interests you most about working in PRIME? The fact that PRIME is southern led, and a partnership between researchers and policy makers in five low and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia. The commitment of Ministry of Health partners prior to PRIME’s inception is an incredibly exciting and unique feature of PRIME, and no doubt, translates into improved and more fluent communication between researchers and policy makers at all levels of the health system. 

What are the biggest challenges about working in PRIME? Despite the advantages of having Ministry of Health partners institutionalised within PRIME, engaging with such partners is sometimes challenging due to the competing demands on their time, in the context of limited resources.

If you were not doing what you do now, what would you be doing? I could not think of anything better, this job has given me the opportunity to apply my interdisciplinary professional and research experience in social marketing, communications, public policy and more recently, documentary arts and digital production.


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