Strengthening Community-based Mental Health project
Country of Operation
- Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF)Not-for-profit
SummaryVVAF currently strives to improve the mental health status of populations in Da Nang and Khanh Hoa provinces. In this project VVAF aims to provide treatment services for depression in primary care practices (at the commune level) where there are no mental health specialists or psychiatrists.
This program aims to increase mental health resources and to improve community mental health care services for management of common mental health disorders (CMD).
Key program components
The project has focused on the introduction of the collaborative stepped care model which stresses the integration of mental health care into general health services which allows the mobilization of a large number of para-professionals at the grassroots level to manage the common mental health problems. This program provides a mobile team of psychiatrists to support community health stations, training of community health stations' general practitioners and nurses to provide guideline treatment, screening, basic psycho-education, and follow-ups provided by village health workers, social support from local authorities, mass organizations, and families, and use of culturally appropriate models of healing that incorporate family orientation, spiritual beliefs and practices, and community connectedness. During the project implementation, the project have actively engaged the officials from the Ministry of Health and the National Mental Health Hospital No 1 (who is responsible for the implementation of the National Mental Health Program). Site visits by those officials took place. Training workshops to share VVAF’s community-based mental heath program with the government officials at central and provincial levels took place regularly. With training workshops for health care workers at different levels to gain new knowledge in mental health, sharing experiences among experts and local staff, this project contributes to strengthening capacity of health sector in the field of mental health. Currently, Viet Nam is implementing community based mental health program. Experience gained from this project will also contribute to improve quality of the program in the country.
The project is currently in its third phase after successfully mapping the inadequacies of mental health policy in these regions in the Formative Phase (which ended at the beginning of 2010) and conducting a successful Pilot Phase in these two provinces (which ran from January 2010 to December 2010). In 2011, VVAF entered the intervention phase by rolling out the model to eight (08) commune health stations in Da Nang and Khanh Hoa provinces.