Pakistan has among the highest rates of psychiatric morbidity in the world, with 66% of women reporting symptoms of depression, and 34% of the general population reporting both depression and anxiety (Mirza, 2004). Only 2 psychiatrists are available for every 100,000 people (WHO, 2009). Cultural attitudes and stigmatization is one of the biggest obstacles around mental health. The first step is therefore to recognize the issue and reach out for support.
The innovation aims to bridge the mental health delivery gap by increasing demand for services and building capacity for a task-shifting approach that utilizes community health workers to deliver mental health services and awareness in under-resourced settings. Over 100 lay counselors have been trained to provide mental health care services including screening, counselling and referrals. The task-shifting model has been implemented in TB, antenatal, diabetes and primary care programs.
EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN