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Emerging mental health systems in low and middle income countries

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th November 2013 05:31 PM

Butabika National Referral and Teaching Mental Hospital participating in a multi-centre mental health project EMERALD

Emerging mental health systems in low and middle income countries

Butabika National Referral and Teaching Mental Hospital participating in a multi-centre mental health project EMERALD

10th November 2013, Uganda commemorates the World Mental Health Day (which was globally observed on 10th October 2013). As part of the celebration, member countries are called upon to scale up mental health services. The World Health Organization has developed and constituted a Global Mental Health Action Plan. The plan was adopted by member countries at the 66th World Health Assembly in Geneva on 27th May 2013. The plan aims at promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders, providing care, improving recovery, promoting human rights; and reducing mortality, morbidity and disability in people with mental disorders. The EMERALD project, funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission is fully participating in implementation of the plan, with the aim of improving mental health services in emerging mental health systems in low- and middle-income countries. This will be achieved by identifying the key barriers to the effective delivery of mental health services and offering solutions for improvement in future.

The intervention is implemented by taking a systems approach, strengthening the ability of in-country researchers and mental health experts to communicate their messages, as well as the capacity of policy-makers and planners to make use of the information. The approach also involves service users and their caregivers in health system policy and planning actions alongside the necessary capacity-building processes.

Through an international consortium of scientists, Emerald is working to achieve this objective by developing a clearer understanding on how to strengthen health systems so as to provide better quantitative and qualitative attention in six countries, including: Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa & Uganda with the support of King’s College London, the Autonomous University of Madrid, WHO- Geneva, HealthNet TPO (The Netherlands) and GABO:mi (Munich), which will be handling administrative issues.

In the recent London meeting, held in September 2013, the Project Coordinating Group had the chance to assess the project development process in order to achieve the established milestones and make important decisions regarding the next steps that will follow in the different country based study designs, the methods with which they will be implemented, assessed and analyzed, and the networks through which the results will be disseminated in the future. In addition, the formative profile of the group has also been mapped and will be finalized during the next meeting that will be held in Uganda in February 2014.

The Emerald team believes that their engagement with policy makers and other stakeholders will contribute significantly to the successful implementation of the Global Mental Health Action Plan.

For further detailed information, please visit the project webpage (www.emerald-project.eu) or contact
Dr. Fred Kigozi, the Principal Investigator for Uganda
(email: fredkigozi@yahoo.com, tel: +256 414 223174/414504376

Emerging mental health systems in low and middle income countries

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