BasicNeeds began its work in Pakistan in 2011 and has been implementing the BasicNeeds Model in three districts in Sindh Province– Korangi, Malir and Matiairi, with the help of local partners. The five year project supported by the British Asian Trust and the Aman Foundation has successfully developed a community-based mental health programme and over 15,000 people have benefitted through the project.
In 2016, BasicNeeds Pakistan expanded its mental health services to eight more remote districts in Northern Sindh, Southern Punjab and the Baluchistan Provinces. As an independent organisation in the country, BasicNeeds Pakistan signed an agreement of merger with MASHAL (another Pakistani non-profit organisation) and are working together on sustaining the BasicNeeds community-based mental health and development programme. Both BasicNeeds Pakistan and MASHAL work to improve mental health in Pakistan, so it makes sense for them to join forces and work together to address, and advocate for, the needs of people with mental illness and epilepsy. There are ambitious plans for geographical scale-up; by the end of 2018 the merged organisation of BasicNeeds Pakistan and Mashal aim to be a national organisation, with projects and presence in all 4 provinces of Pakistan. They have already worked out where needs are greatest and done due diligence on some partners they could work with.
BasicNeeds Pakistan also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Concern for Mental Health UK, Aman Healthcare Services and the Government of Sindh’s Health Department, to establish a rehabilitation centre in Hyderabad, Sindh. The centre will hold 100 beds and will be equipped with modern health care facilities for people with mental illnesses and epilepsy.