Photo credit: https://unityinhealthnepal.org/
Mental, neurological, and substance use disorders are common in all regions of the world, affecting every community and age group across all income countries. While 14% of the global burden of disease is attributed to these disorders, most of the people affected - 75% in many low-income countries - do not have access to the treatment they need.
IUBAT graduate Sailesh Bhandari works as a Clinical Nurse Educator and Team Leader in a project to improve community mental health care in rural Nepal that is being delivered by the NGO Unity in Health Nepal. Sailesh's main tasks have been capacity building as well as educating local people about good mental health, and raising awareness on this critical but neglected issue. His team has trained Health Assistants, Female Community Health Volunteers and others in basic mental health care skills, so that patients and families have a local mental health support network when specialist care services are not available.
To ensure consistency with other training programs in South Asia, they use resources such as the Mental Health Gap Training Program developed by WHO. The mhGap program aims at scaling up services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders especially for low- and middle-income countries .