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Better Mental Health, Better Lives
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Our Impact

Over the years, we have developed a database of participants who have been through our programmes which helps us analyse the impact of our Model through the participant’s lives. Every quarter, BasicNeeds collects data from country sites. This allows us to monitor the reach and impact of our programmes. As of December 2016, over 686,000 people have been through our programmes globally.

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BasicNeeds Annual Report 2016              BasicNeeds Impact Overview 2016

Building Better Lives

In 2016 alone, of the 42,792 people with mental illness or epilepsy who participated in BasicNeeds programmes worldwide, a significant number showed improvements in health with reduced symptoms and increased participating in domestic, social and economic activities. In addition, 34,427 were carers and 142,497 family members also participated in programmes globally, giving a total of 219,716 participants.

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We closely monitor our impact through the following ways:

a) Treatment access and reduction of symptoms

Last year, overall there was significant improvement in the number of affected people who gained access to treatment as well as those who reported a reduction in their symptoms compared to before joining the BasicNeeds programme.

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b) Livelihoods

As people recover from mental illness, they are keen to work or go back to a job they were previously undertaking. Indeed the relationship between poverty and mental ill health in developing countries is very important. They can start with productive work by carrying out simple tasks at home but this can rise to a significant contribution to the household chores and paid employment. A key target is to go into earned income and the return to work represents a very special moment.

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c) Self-help groups

A significant contribution to the recovery of people living with mental illness in the programme is their membership to a self-help group. Our evidence indicates that even when a satisfactory recovery is achieved by an affected person, s/he doesn’t automatically leave the self-help group and this speaks a lot regarding the long term effectiveness of these people-led structures.

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d) Training and mobilizing participants, staff and partners

The training and mobilizing of participants, staff and partners has always been integral in the global programme:

(i) BasicNeeds’ staff and partner staff are trained in understanding mental health and the BasicNeeds Model.
(ii) BasicNeeds also mobilizes a range of other partners from ministries of health to community based organisations who help in the overall delivery of the global programme.
(iii) Community based workers are trained in understanding mental health and development, human rights, how to read signs and symptoms of mental illness, follow up treatments, home visits, etc.
(iv) Direct participants are given vocational training and training in savings and micro-credit, leadership, advocacy and human rights. BasicNeeds also mobilizes a range of other partners from ministries of health to community based organisations who help in the overall delivery of the global programme.

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The impact of the BasicNeeds Model in current operational countries has penetrated into the delivery of government mental health services through integration into primary health care, which is key to sustaining these services. This in turn is critical to sustaining the outcomes gained by affected people and extending services to more people in future. Key areas of BasicNeeds’ impact on service delivery: increased treatment services, increased availability of medicines, leveraging of other resources and increased community involvement.

Influencing for Change

BasicNeeds continues to influence the field of mental health towards a community based mental health approach. The scope of BasicNeeds’ influence covers 3 areas:

(i) Government policy in operational countries
(ii)The Global Mental Health community (includes the following prominent players: WHO, Movement for Global Mental Health, Global Agenda Council on Mental Health, global mental health research coalitions PRIME and EMERALD etc.)
(iii) Knowledge (peer reviewed and other publications) – visit our resources page for details.

We have a well laid out system that covers the Monitoring-Quality Assurance-Impact Assessment system and detailed protocols and data collection templates have been designed. Field teams in all operational countries are trained in the use of these for data collection. Quality checks of data are conducted. All data is entered into a database and these are consolidated and analysed every quarter and reports are presented including an annual impact report.

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