Slowly but surely, PRIME's evidence-based research is making its way into our study countries' policies. Most recently, PRIME's model of community-based mental healthcare influenced Nepal's "Community Mental Health Care Package."
On 9 and 10 October 2017 PRIME's CEO, Prof Crick Lund, attended the annual WHO mhGAP Forum in Geneva.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that an urgent overhaul of global mental healthcare is required to address the emerging depression epidemic. The World Health Organization estimates that the total number of people living with depression increased by 18.4% between 2005 and 2015 and that depression is the biggest cause of disability worldwide. More than 80% of this disease burden is found among people living in low- and middle-income countries.
Catering to the healthcare needs of roughly 400 000 people in the Sehore district in Madhya Pradesh, India, the the Ashta civil hospital served as one of the scale-up sites for PRIME's mental health care plan. Dr Pravir Gupta, a block medical officer at Ashta, shared his experience with this PRIME intervention.
We are excited to announce that DFID has awarded us additional funding to continue PRIME for an additional two years. This is in line with the growing global consensus and commitment to addressing mental health as a priority health and development policy issue such as the adoption of 2013 the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Mental Health Action Plan and the inclusion of mental health targets in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in 2015.
PRIME's sixth annual meeting was an exciting event as the teams worked together to plan it's activities for the research programme's two-year extension. One of the highlights of the meeting was a two-day writing workshop which allowed time for partners to meet, look at data from the PRIME research studies and discuss plans for publications.
Carrie Brooke-Sumner, the first PRIME PhD candidate to graduate's PhD focused on developing a community-based psychosocial rehabilitation programme for people with schizophrenia in the North West province of South Africa as part of PRIME.
This year PRIME’s UCT team took part in the #DignityInMind campaign, organised by the Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health – the UCT team’s Cape Town base. PRIME was prominently featured on the campaign website and mentioned in all press releases disseminated between World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September and throughout World Mental Health Month in October.
From 6 to 9 August PRIME was represented at the Rural Health Conference (RHC) in Grahamstown, South Africa. Ònè Selohilwe, PRIME South Africa’s project coordinator delivered a keynote address titled “Developing Integrated District Rural Health Systems in South Africa: Lessons from PRIME” and research uptake officer, Maggie Marx, tended a PRIME exhibition to disseminate specially designed material explain PRIME, its goals and successes.
Since its launch in 2008 a number of countries have undertaken to implement the WHO mental health Gap (mhGAP) Action Programme.
The PRIME South Africa team has achieved a milestone for task sharing of psychosocial interventions beyond the borders of South Africa.
On the morning of 15 September I flew from Kathmandu to Chitwan, the PRIME district implementation site in Nepal. I was accompanied by Nagendra Luitel, the PRIME Nepal Project Coordinator. Our plan was to visit health facilities where the PRIME district mental healthcare plan had been implemented, as well as facilities that have been involved in the scale up phase. We also wished to visit the PRIME research team, based at the TPO Nepal offices in Chitwan.