How Can We Solve the Worldwide Mental Health Crisis? One Non-Profit Has Suggestions and a Plan of Action
According to The World Health Organization (WHO), 25% of the human race will experience mental health-related illness or a neurological disorder during their lifetime. WHO also reports there are currently half a billion people on earth who suffer from at least one time of mental health-related illness or disorder.
What’s more, one of the most devastating mental illnesses also happens to be the world’s most prevalent: depression. Although common, depression is a potentially dangerous mental illness that, if left untreated, can lead to suicidal ideation, acts of violence, drug/alcohol abuse and addiction, self-harm, and even death.
What’s worse, while the US. has its own problems with how it addresses, views, and treats mental illness, most impoverished countries around the globe virtually lack all human and clinical resources necessary to treat mental health-related issues.
While the WHO’s findings on worldwide mental illness may seem quite dire, there are those, like Pavel Reppo, Founder of MindFullWe, a non-profit mental health support organization, who remain steadfast and determined to provide adequate mental health care to third-world countries.
MindFullWe’s ultimate goal? To provide first-world mental health resources and treatment to all of the world’s most impoverished communities.
“ We recruit, train and employ local community members to provide basic therapeutic support services to individuals struggling with depression,” Pavel says.
Utilizing task-sharing delegation techniques to mobilize specialists and relocate them to other countries where they are able to provide “oversight, quality assurance, and supervision to lesser-trained mental health workers on the front lines.”
Pavel’s non-profit uses a four-point plan of action to accomplish these tasks:
- Psychoeducation - providing advice that will help with coping problems
- Provide an antidepressant regimen for those who are unable to locate or afford medications
- Provide Interpersonal Counseling: teaching those in need about understanding the relationship between mental illness symptoms and triggers
- (if necessary) Provide referrals to a mental health specialist
While their mission to support the worlds’ mentally Ill may seem lofty, the MindFullWe organization claims they have practical plans of how they can accomplish their ambitious, humanitarian goals - including, partnering with “vetted organizations,” sharing their mental health plan of action with them, and finally, teaching their partners how to replicate and spread their program to other impoverished locales surrounding their own community and beyond.
Reppo says their hope is to “catalyze a shift towards community-based mental health services.”