An estimated 50% of the Afghan population have mental health issues. The approach taken to dealing with these issues is predominantly a biomedical one, with less emphasis on psychosocial approaches.
CBMHP is a large-scale community mental health system that does both: it designs and runs psychosocial programmes, conducting community outreach, support, training and awareness raising, and has a strong referral system in place, so that people who need medical attention receive it. So far, the programme has reached 50,000 people in just two years.
The project has strong support from the Afghan government, which has been hugely important in enabling it to grow, however it hasn't conducted very much in-depth evaluation work to capture and articulate its impact. As it continues to grow, there is a challenge in ensuring it retains community ownership. There are also challenges stemming from the conflict in this region, which can disrupt activity and affect retention of volunteers.
Our partnership includes work to continue developing the project's international network, while also building the team's capacity in certain areas so they feel fully equipped to own the project as it grows.
We are working on a qualitative research project to understand how COVID-19 has affected the mental health and wellbeing of people with psychosocial disabilities and their families in Herat, Afghanistan. Through this research, we will also be exploring the positive impact of the psychosocial intervention delivered by CBMHP during this time.
A volunteer-driven system of outreach, home visits, training and referrals to meet community mental health needs and raise awareness
Breaking cycles of violence in post-conflict settings through creative therapies and workshops
A community based organisation working to improve mental health provision in rural and impoverished areas of Uttarakhand