Project Lead(s): Eddy Eustache
Many low-resource countries have a significant deficit in mental health infrastructure and human resources. Mental health infrastructure in Haiti (pop. 10M), for example, is limited to one psychiatric hospital and one health centre in Port au Prince. These facilities are severely under-resourced and characterized by poor sanitation, lack of medication and excessive use of physical restraints.
To address this gap, with funding from Grand Challenges Canada, Zanmi Lasante is integrating care pathways for depression, epilepsy, psychosis, and child and adolescent disorders in 11 primary care facilities throughout rural Haiti. Through this community-based model, lay and formal health workers are being trained to deliver mental health services and to use new information management systems to improve quality of care. As a result of these efforts to date, 5,086 people are currently receiving treatment for a range of mental health disorders and an estimated 2,325 are experiencing improved health outcomes. As implementation of the project continues, the number of persons benefiting from these services is expected to grow.
Going forward, the team is also working to incorporate psychiatric training into medical residency programs and the nursing college curricula.