Preventive and restorative mental health services

Evidence shows that with the right care and support from the family and community as a whole, people with mental health conditions are able to experience better outcomes in their treatment and recovery journey. On the same note, individuals with resilience and wellbeing, are able to bounce back and thrive in spite of exposure to stressors, and this is important in preventing the onset of mental health conditions as well as potentially lessening the severity of existing mental health conditions.     

Our organization engages in interventions that directly aide the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illnesses in the communities we work with. These interventions are further strengthened by proactive activities within these communities to challenge stigma and prejudice against people who have or are at risk of developing mental illnesses, noting that stigma has been shown to have a negative impact on treatment seeking behavior.

The challenge

High levels of stigma associated with mental health coupled with cultural practices and beliefs that associate mental illness and other disabilities to supernatural phenomenon such as witchcraft, curses, and demonic possession, have had a negative impact on treatment seeking behaviour in the communities where we work. This is further compounded by inadequate levels of awareness on mental health and wellness, inadequate access to services and inadequate mental health practitioners.

Our approach

To address the challenges highlighted above, we base our interventions on the Community Mental Health Approach as envisioned by the BasicNeeds Model.

The BasicNeeds Model is a collection of community, social, health, and economic interventions designed to improve the wellbeing of individuals with mental health conditions, their families, and the communities in which they live. At its heart, the BasicNeeds Model is an approach that promotes individual wellbeing and brings about positive changes in the way that people with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities can participate in society and realise their rights.

The Model adopts a holistic approach, not just focusing on one level of care, or one aspect of development say, service delivery or advocacy, but rather it recognises that interventions should be multipronged.

We therefore run interventions that concurrently:

  • Improve the quality of life and social capital of individuals with mental health conditions.
  • Support and sustain community action by people affected and promote agency.
  • Improve health systems so that they are inclusive for people with mental health conditions and so that the quality of services is as good as it can be.
  • Improve the economic wellbeing of individuals and society by focusing on disrupting the cycle of poverty and disability.