With a week to go before the globe commemorates World Mental Health Day, the PRogramme for Improving Mental health carE (PRIME) places mental health on the agenda of the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research #HSR2014, which was just completed in Cape Town (30 September – 3 October 2014).
Mental health leaders and advocates gathered in Geneva, Switzerland this past week as the “Preventing Suicide, A Global Imperative “report was publicly released by the World Health Organization (WHO) after the WHO launched implementation discussions of the Global Mental Health Action Plan adopted by the United Nations 66th assembly last year.
The PRogramme for Improving Mental health carE (PRIME) has recently published research findings regarding the acceptability and feasibility of using task sharing approaches to deliver mental health care in low and middle-income countries. Task sharing involves the delivery of mental health care by general health workers (including doctors, nurses and community health workers), who are trained and supervised by mental health specialists in routine health care delivery systems.
More than 13% of the global burden of disease is due to mental illness, of which 75% of people affected by mental illness live in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC). According to World Health Organization (WHO), up to 4 out of every 5 people with mental illness in low resource settings go without mental health care.
PRogramme for Improving Mental health carE (PRIME) is a research initiative established to design ways to integrate mental health care services into primary health care (PHC).
Fifty-eight year old Maya Devi Sharma (name changed) a permanent resident of Chitwan is a mother of two daughters and a son. While both her daughters were sent off on their marriage, she is currently living with her son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. Few years before, she lost her husband due to chronic illness he had had.
Armed with 17 years of experience as a health worker in the public health sector, Bharat* recently completed a training program with TPO Nepal through PRIME, which has broadened his perspective and helped him to better respond to patients with mental illness.
After spending close to 2 years at cabinet level, the draft Mental Health Bill (drafted in 2010 following the work of PRIME’s predecessor, the Mental Health and Poverty Project, MHaPP) has proceeded to the Parliament, where it is expected to be debated further, and hopefully passed before the end of the year.
The inaugural World Innovation Summit on Health, an initiative aimed at promoting and facilitating innovation in healthcare delivery globally, was attended in Doha in December 2013 by almost 1000 health experts and policy makers.
Hira (name changed) is now sixty-five. She has been married for more than fifty years, and has five children, of whom all except the youngest son is married. Ever since her marriage, she has been a victim of domestic violence from her husband and in-laws. On top of that, her problem grew worst when her youngest son started having problem.
With the rollout of anti-retroviral therapy (ART), HIV/AIDS is transitioning to a chronic disease. Simultaneously, South Africa is confronted with a rising burden of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly cardiovascular disease and diabetes due to risk factors associated with more urban lifestyles.
The 66th World Health Assembly (WHA), WHO’s decision making body, has endorsed a global mental health action plan for the next 8 years, which will provide an evidence-based guideline for member states to better integrate mental health into domestic policies, plans and strategies.