About the course
Mental health conditions constitute a huge global burden of disease, that is accompanied by a large treatment gap, particularly in low-and-middle-income countries. In 2007, the Lancet Series of papers on global mental health proposed a call to scale-up mental health services to increase access to mental health services. However, low-and-middle-income settings are yet to overcome key challenges to scaling-up coverage of services for mental health problems.
Some of these challenges include: a low political will, difficulties in integrating mental health in primary health care, shortage of mental health professionals, and the stigma and low help-seeking rates associated with mental health problems.
Community-based programmes and task-sharing approaches have been found to be effective and feasible options in a range of settings.
Non-specialist health professionals, lay health workers, affected individuals, and caregivers with brief training and adequate supervision by mental health specialists are able to identify, treat, and monitor individuals with mental health problems.
Furthermore, key barriers such as mobilisation of financial resources, recruitment, and retention, and equitable distribution of the workforce can be addressed through effective leadership and management of human resources for mental health.
In light of all these challenges, our two-week course was designed in 2008 to develop leadership capacity in the context of the emerging global mental health movement, by promoting skills to develop and scale-up mental health interventions, and strategies to overcome barriers in resource-constrained settings, with emphasis on low-and-middle-income countries.