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Enlisting African traditional healers, faith healers, and community health workers to help detect mental illness

The Africa Mental Health Foundation (AMHF) wants to expand integration of mental health services into exist-ing public and community health services by training formal and informal healthcare providers.

A scale-up of an innovative model engaging and edu-cating community health workers, traditional, and faith healers will help to identify suspected cases of mental illness, build awareness, and combat stigma within rural communities.

Innovation summary
In Kenya, with a high prevalence of mental disorders among its 42 million citizens, there are only about 94 practicing psychiatrists. This shortage of profession-als, combined with limited drug supplies, government funding and stigma, leaves most of those living with mental illness unable to access much needed diagnosis and treatment.

The Africa Mental Health Foundation (AMHF) approach breaks down barriers between the formal and informal sectors, encouraging dialogue and training to increase synergy and communication. This scale-up project will enable the AMHF to build its referral networks and expand its integration of mental health into existing public and community health services by training formal (nurses, clinical officers) and informal (traditional healers, faith healers) healthcare providers. Project goals also include building awareness and combating the stigma of mental illness within rural communities and, long-term, a community mental health care model that can be scaled up and implemented throughout Kenya.

Impact summary
The project will:

  • Scale-up services from 2 to 20 facilities in Makueni County, located between Nairobi and Mombasa
  • Engage and educate more than 160 community health workers, traditional and faith healers, and identify 6,000 suspected cases of mental illness
  • If the same rate of success prevails as in the pilot pro-gram, almost 2,000 people will be diagnosed within the year

or ´peace of mind´ is what we all want. Africa Men-tal Health Training and Research Foundation, believe that listening is one of the best tools in the practice of mental health. By learning where clients are in their life journey, we can help them make the greatest positive impact on their own health care.

Whether working with clients to manage conditions such as anxiety, depression, grief or psychosis, we en-courage them to make a difference in their own lives. We believe that preventative health care and healthy lifestyle changes can make the biggest difference in a person’s overall health and well-being. We empower clients to be actively involved in preventative health and management of their stress.

Africa Mental Health Training and Research Founda-tion provides employees, spouses, families ,children, organized groups and people from all walk of lives with convenient access to quality, affordable on-site mental care. If you are experiencing stress, relationship is-sues, depression or any other behavioral health issue, contact us.

We are staffed with experienced and highly trained health care clinicians who will listen and walk with you to deal with your situation. We simply care for your mental health well being.

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