Mental Health Programs
for local communities
THERE IS A CRITICAL NEED TO INVEST IN GLOBAL MENTAL HEALTH
In 2019, one in eight people worldwide (equivalent to 970 million people) suffered from a mental disorder. Due to the COVID19 pandemic in 2020, there was a sharp deterioration in global mental wellbeing which continued to decline in 2021, although to a lesser extent.
Mental health is an integral part of our general health, well-being and a basic human right, but its troubles are increasing every year. It should be mentioned that approximately 20% of children and adolescents worldwide suffer from a mental health problem, with suicide being the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds. In post-conflict situations, approximately one in five people suffers from a mental health problem.
Unfortunately, countries spend less than 2% of their health budget on mental health. This figure is ridiculous if one takes into account the great economic losses that, for example, depression and anxiety cause to society. In middle- and high-income countries, medical coverage for mental health is available at the primary care system level, but there is also significant provision at the private care level. These private mental health services are accessible to people with middle-high incomes. Instead, low-income people must rely on health care that is subsidized or offered by nonprofit organizations.
In low-income countries, the situation is even more alarming due to the virtual non-existence of mental health services, neither in the primary health care system nor among liberal professionals. In these countries, people will depend on non-profit organizations that promote these services.
IMPROVING MENTAL HEALTH IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
Mental disorders are one of the main causes of the global burden of disease, and the provision of mental health services in developing countries remains very limited and far from equitable.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 75% of people with mental disorders live in low- and middle-income countries and the majority have no access to any type of care.
Developing countries are in debt or face serious social problems or even armed conflicts, where aid is concentrated on covering basic needs and cannot facilitate mental health services.
Until today, mental health has not been recognized as an urgent priority, although according to current studies in neuropsychobiology, it is easy to understand that there is no physical health without health. mental. Therefore, a person with mental well-being will be able to develop creative solutions to problems stemming from poverty or violence, while another with a mental disorder cannot. To provide long-term solutions, all projects should have a strong mental health care component.
COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS
The World Health Organization (WHO) World Report on Mental Health: Transforming Mental Health for All (2022) asserts that transforming mental health in every country is possible, regardless of their circumstances. He asserts that we should all value and be committed to reshaping the environments that influence mental health, and to developing and strengthening community mental health services.
Mental health risks and protective factors are found in society at different scales. Local threats increase the risk to individuals, families, and communities, so mental health programs need to be tailored to the context of those specific communities (culture, religions, dialects, ethnicity, etc.)
We have over 15 years of experience designing and implementing projects in rural communities. We have modern technology for data collection, monitoring and evaluation of activities. Above all, we have a great passion to continue to promote mental health in communities around the world and always adapting to the cultural context.
Community mental health programs should include:
Mental health awareness in the community
Community Mental Health Research by Tribe or Region
Mental health infrastructure and services in primary health care
Community Mental Health Services
Mental Health Training for Health Care Providers