By working in partnership with people living with mental illness, rather than simply for them, BasicNeeds has built a unique and effective model for recovery and sustained good mental health. The model uses meaningful work and community support, as well as treatment to help improve lives.
Our approach to treatment includes providing medication and psychosocial support in partnership with local governments and Ministries of Health. It is low cost and sustainable because we build the capacity of existing health professionals and services rather than starting from scratch. We also build the capacity of participants by encouraging them to be members of self-help groups and create livelihoods opportunities to support their on-going recovery. Lastly, we reduce stigma by helping the broader community understand what mental illness is.
Our research shows that chances of a long-term recovery are hugely improved by working and from the pride that comes from being an economic asset to your family and community.
The combination of hands-on practical work with rigorous data collection and research supports people living with mental illness and epilepsy to make their voice heard at a local level. It also allows BasicNeeds to collaborate with a range of partners to advocate for, and create change at a national level, and increase the prominence of mental illness and epilepsy on the global stage.
The convergence of the approaches outlined above in our model of work is what makes BasicNeeds unique. To date, over 680,000 people benefited from our programmes globally.
Our way of working is summarised in video below:
Capacity building – Identifying, mobilising, sensitising and training mental health and development stakeholders
Community mental health – Enabling effective and affordable community oriented mental health treatment services
Livelihoods – Facilitating opportunities for affected individuals to gain or regain the ability to work, earn and contribute to family and community life
Research – Generating evidence from the practice of mental health and development
Collaboration – Forging partnerships with stakeholders who are involved in implementing the model on the ground and/or are responsible for policy and practice decisions to improve mental health provision.