Our solution aims to help provide better and more cost-effective community-based mental health care through an online psycho-educational program, so that participants from across the globe can enroll.
Everyone affected by crisis or disaster, regardless of gender, age, and sexual orientation can experience various forms of vulnerability and should be able to access help and support for the suffering and distress leading to mental health disorders.
As highlighted within WHO’s mental health Global Action Program (mhGAP), there is a large gap between the prevalence of mental health problems and service availability in the vast majority of communities of the world. Global access to care for common mental health problems following adverse experiences can be significantly improved by developing scalable interventions.
Our solution is to train people without previous education in these fields to be “barefoot therapists” or “peer supporters”.
For this we use a method that we have called Pragmatic Empowerment Training (PET). This is a highly participatory method based on Carl Rogers’ participatory education. In this, there is much more discussion and practice than lecturing. Participants determine the precise content. Furthermore, this manner of working encourages psychological supervision among staff and volunteers. It also encourages therapy, which, in many cultures, is highly stigmatized, through gaining group trust and solidarity.
Group size is kept to between 3 and 12. In general, groups meet for an hour and a half to two hours per week. We conduct groups onsite and online, making it possible to include people who otherwise would not be able to access local public health services. Services will be multilingual and culturally/subject sensitive to reach groups such as refugees. The number of sessions is not limited. In general, groups meet for a year to a year and a half, and some run longer, becoming supervision groups.