Integration of mental health into primary care and community health working in Kenya: context, rationale, coverage and sustainability

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Abstract:

Integration of mental health into primary care is essential to meet population needs yet faces many challenges if such projects are to achieve impact and be sustainable in low income countries along-side other competing priorities. This paper describes the rationale and progress of a collaborative project in Kenya to train primary care and community health workers about mental health and integrate mental health into their routine work, Within a health systems strengthening approach. So far 1877 health workers have been trained . The paper describes the multiple challenges faced by the project, and reviews the mechanisms deployed which have strengthened its impact and sustainability to date.

Keywords: INTEGRATION; KENYA; MENTAL HEALTH; PRIMARY CARE; SUSTAINABILITY; TRAINING

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Epidemiology and International Mental Health Policy; Director of WHO Collaborating Centre, Kings College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK 2: Director of Mental Health, Ministry of Medical Services, Kenya 3: President, Kenya Psychiatric Association 4: Past President, Kenya Psychiatric Association 5: Project Manager, Mental Health Training Programme, Kenya Medical Training College 6: Programme Head, Africa Programme, Nuffield Foundation, UK

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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