Empowerment, also known as Capacity Building, is a very important concept in development. Capacity building is a process of strengthening and developing existing skills, structures and potential so that people, systems and organisations can start to fend for themselves with decreasing outside assistance.
One of the main things BasicNeeds does is to build the capacity of everyone involved in mental health and its treatment so that they can understand mental illness, the issues surrounding it and can treat mental illness more effectively. It is a central tenant of our approach to tackling mental illness in the developing world.
Capacity Building is a term which covers a very broad range of our work and is different for each of the groups we work with in each of our country programmes. It basically means that we improve different people's ability to deal with mental health.
Capacity building is vital for creating a long-term sustainable programme. Once mental health services, local NGOs, communities, and individuals understand and can effectively deal with mental health issues, the ground work is set for a long-term change in mental health care.
Without empowerment and capacity building, we would only be treating the symptoms of a deep rooted problem and not giving communities the ability to help themselves in the long-term.
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