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United States

Steering Committee, Advisory Board - July 2015

Members of the Steering Group and Advisory Board 

Mental health in the United States

Like many nations around the world, the U.S. struggles with the cost, access, and effectiveness of mental health services. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA), in 2014, 18% of adults (42.5 million individuals) reported experiencing any mental illness, and 4.2% (10 million individuals) reported having serious mental illness. It is estimated that less than half of individuals living with serious mental illness in the U.S. access the services they need. The U.S. mental health delivery system, its workforce, and the funding that supports it are insufficient to resolve this gap in care.

Our work

BasicNeeds US is a 501(c) (3) tax exempt non-profit organization set up in 2008 serving the health, social, and economic needs of people with mental illnesses and neurological disorders in the world’s poorest communities. BasicNeeds US focuses on grant making, technical assistance, and advocacy for the people in these communities.

In 2015, BasicNeeds was awarded a grant by Charities Aid Foundation of America from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Donor-Advised Fund to assess the feasibility of implementing our Model for Mental Health and Development in the United States. The project is run in collaboration with Innovations in Healthcare at Duke University. The study has laid a solid foundation for U.S. implementation of the BasicNeeds Model for Mental Health and Development and Detroit, Michigan has been selected as the first pilot site. This will enable us to develop a network of partner organisations to implement the BasicNeeds Model in their communities.  The experience acquired and lessons learned through this project will support the development of the training curriculum and materials for a network of BasicNeeds members across the U.S. Read more here.

Richard Dougherty“Over the last six years of working with BasicNeeds, it is clear to me that cities and towns in the U.S. don’t just need access to more treatment. They need a community development approach that builds capacity in individuals, families and communities through collaboration, livelihoods and community partnerships.” Richard Dougherty, President of BasicNeeds US.

BasicNeeds’ innovative, community-based solution has significantly improved the lives of people living with mental illnesses in low- and middle-income countries. Many mental health and community development professionals in the U.S. are keenly interested in applying the approach to address similar issues in the U.S. The project ultimately aims to benefit communities, including public agencies, health plans, mental health providers, and individuals and families living with mental illness in the communities served.

Contact information

BasicNeeds US
9 Meriam St. Suite 4
Lexington, MA 02420

Tel no.: (781) 869-6990

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