Community based mental health program at Tanahu
Posted on: 20 Apr, 2015


Community-Based Mental Health Program in Brief

In response to the problem "Right of Persons with Psychosocial Disability (PWPDs) is not recognized and respected in the community", Mainstreaming Mental health and psychosocial disability in Nepal has been implemented in 2 districts (Dhading and Bhaktapur). The project was financially supported by the CBM international. The main goal of this project was "Self Empowerment of Persons with Mental/Psychosocial Disability for Self Development ". A brief description of the conducted activities from August 2014 to December 2014 is highlighted below:

District level interaction meeting

With the objective to make aware key stakeholders of Tanahun district about the issue of mental health, two hours interaction program held at Santosh Hotel, Damauli-Tanahun on 6th November 2014. The program was jointly organized by KOSHISH and District Health Office, Damauli. This activity has contributed for sensitizing key stakeholders of Tanahun district regarding the issues of mental health.

School Children Awareness Program

The ideal 'Catch Them Young' has inspired KOSHISH to initiate Mental Health Awareness Campaign among the school children. It was aimed to orient the school children into the significance of mental health and its current social implications. The content of the program comprised the class discussion, lectures, role play, audio videos and school conferences. KOSHISH conducted 2 events of school awareness in government schools of Damauli, Tanahun on 30th October 2014. After the event, students are sensitizing other community members about the reactions that are common and normal among persons with psychosocial disability, as well as information about the severe reactions and problems that needs extra attention.

Lobbying and coordination meetings

To reinforce the element of sustainability in mental health care KOSHISH continuously lobbied with various policy making bodies at the central, regional and level. For the purpose of lobbying and follow-up of stakeholders, KOSHISH made visits at different times to the key stakeholders of Bhaktapur, Dhading, and Tanahun district. KOSHISH lobbied with Officials of District Development Committee (DDC), District Health Organization (DHO), District Women and Children Office (DWCO) of Dhading and Bhaktapur regarding the cooperation between KOSHISH and these organizations. This activity has awakened these stakeholders to the issues of mental health and psychosocial disability and they have owned the issue of psychosocial disability in the health and disability momentum.

Training on task sharing and early identification of psychosocial problem

3 days training was conducted from 28th December 2014 to 30th December 2014. This activity was targeted to enable existing health workers of government health facilities in providing mental health services in their community through early identification and referral of mental/psychosocial disability. The 8 existing health workers of government health facilities in Bhaktapur district are able to identify and refer cases of psychosocial disability to seek mental health services available at the district hospital.

Business Support

After the entrepreneurship trainings enable the members of Self Help Group to sketch out their own business plan, and then they are provided with business support which includes Seed Money, Material Support, and Technical Support etc. The Jyoti Self Help Group of Mahadevsthan Dhading has been supported with 2 highbred male-goats, 1 set of castrator and 4 sets of drenching machines after it came with a business plan of professional goat keeping. In the same manner, the members of two Self Help Groups in Bhaktapur (Asha and Sahara) are being provided additional follow-up trainings for making velvet shoes and sandals. Self Help Group members are started to generate income in their group. With the help of this support, they are capable of affording for their medicines themselves.

Medication Support

KOSHISH provided medication to 120 persons (40 from Bhaktapur and 80 from Dhading) with mental/psychosocial disability.

Day celebration

With the aim of raising awareness and encouraging a better understanding of people with a disability KOSHISH was represented by a team of its members who participated in the peaceful rally on 3rd December 2014. The theme of this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, was “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology”. The theme focuses on the role of technology as a way to break down barriers for people with a disability and how devices are becoming faster, cheaper and more accessible.

The rally was organized by NFDN (National Federation of Disable Nepal) and by the Government of Nepal. Sixteen participants participated in the rally including; peer support group members, self-advocates and employees associated with KOSHISH. The rally marched from Bhrikutimandap to Bhrikutimandap through Exhibition Road, Putalisadak, Bagbazar and Old Bus Park. The rally was turned into a mass meeting at the garden of Bhrikutimandap. Participants carried placards with slogans like…. "Let's utilize technology to make the different aspects of development inclusive, accessible and sustainable for everyone", "technology for disaster risk reduction and emergency response".

Psychosocial counseling

The Persons with Psychosocial Disability getting medication support in both project districts were also provided psychosocial counseling. From August to December 2014, 507 sessions of counseling are conducted in two districts. The sessions of psychosocial support included psycho-educations to the family members on the nature of mental health problems, counseling on the medicine compliance and emotional support. Such supports have significantly contributed to medicine compliance, eased up the emotional problems and helped the family members change their attitudes toward mental health problems while reducing the stigma attached to mental illness.

District Project Advisory Committee (DPAC) Meeting

The DPAC meeting was organized on 6th November 2014 at Tanhun. The meeting was organized with the objective to review and analyze the progress and review the achievement of the concerned project/s in Tanahun. The participants were from the District Development Committee Office, Women & Children Office, District Education Office (DEO) and District Health Office (DHO). The meeting was conducted under the convener of the Local Development Officer (LDO) of Tanahun district, who also acted as the chairman. Altogether, 9 participants had attended the meeting. Participants presented their views on the necessity of the interventions in the field of mental health. Finally wishing for the effective implementation of projects, the Local Development Officer (LDO) gave the final remarks of the meeting and said, "for future also project coordination should be done in cooperation with line agencies and that suggestions should be collected before the implementation of projects begin." To further agree with the LDO’s remarks, most of the line agencies also suggested that coordination should be done before the commencement of any activities and that coordinated efforts should also provide; achievements, progress, and activities of the project on a monthly or quarterly basis.