Country of Operation
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
- Lower-middle income (20-40%)
- Middle-income (40-60%)
- Mental health
SummaryBasicNeeds is an international NGO working to make change on the issue of mental illness & epilepsy in developing countries. By working in partnership with mentally ill people, BasicNeeds has built a unique & effective model for recovery and sustained good mental health.
Founded in 2000, BasicNeeds is a mental health focused international NGO with a global reach spanning 12 countries and growing.
Our mission is to enable people with mental illness or epilepsy and their families to live and work successfully in their communities by combining health, socio-economic and community orientated solutions with changes in policy, practice and resource allocation.
Our vision is that the basic needs of all people with mental illness and epilepsy throughout the world are met and their basic rights are recognised and respected.
Key program components
By working in partnership with mentally ill people, rather than simply for them, BasicNeeds has built a unique and effective model for recovery and sustained good mental health. The model uses meaningful work and community support, as well as treatment to help improve lives.
Our approach to treatment includes providing medication and psychosocial support in partnership with local governments and Ministries of Health. It is low cost and sustainable because we build the capacity of existing health professionals and services rather than starting from scratch. We also build the capacity of participants by encouraging them to be members of self-help groups to support their on-going recovery and to reduce stigma by helping the broader community understand what mental illness is.
We also create livelihood opportunities for people with mental illness and epilepsy in developing countries. Our research shows that chances of a long-term recovery are hugely improved by working and from the pride that comes from being an economic asset to your family and community.
The combination of hands-on practical work with rigorous research and data collection supports people with mental illness and epilepsy to make their voice heard at a local level. It allows BasicNeeds to collaborate with a range of partners to advocate for and create change at a national level, and to increase the prominence of mental illness and epilepsy on the global stage.
The convergence of the approaches outlined above in our model of work is what makes BasicNeeds unique. To date, over 646,000 people benefited from our programmes in 12 countries.
Check out our video to find out more.
According to the World Health Organization about 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability