The first and often most important thing that mentally ill people need is care that they can access in their communities.
What little mental health care that is available is often only in psychiatric hospitals in capital cities. That means that people who live in very remote rural areas have to travel great distance to get treatment. This transport isn’t free and many people can’t afford it.
If people do get treated in psychiatric hospitals, the conditions here are normally very dire. We are working with governments to help them improve mental health care services in the community.
Many people in rural areas turn to traditional healers or faith healers to cure their illnesses. Whilst these healers are successful in treating some mental illnesses by using counselling methods in their treatments, often their methods are inappropriate and ineffective.
With a massive dearth in trained staff, we rely a lot on local volunteers from within the communities we work in to help us reach out to people with mental health problems.
Effective treatment is a vital first step in giving mentally ill people the chance at a new life. Through providing effective treatment we show that mentally ill people can return to a normal state and this is an essential part of removing the stigma from family and community that mentally ill people face.
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