In an introductory editorial, PRIME Director Crick Lund argues the challenge in scaling up mental health services in low and middle-income countries is not what activities to implement but how to implement them. To help gather more information on how to integrate mental health services into primary health, PRIME and partners examined district health models in countries such as Ethiopia, India and Nepal.
The organisation also looked at implementation in South Africa’s National Health Insurance pilot site the Dr Kenneth Kaunda district in the North West. There, PRIME researchers focused on the inclusion of mental health in integrated chronic disease management platform.
Researchers found that, as in India, limited mental health screening and treatment.
The research then identifies strategies for addressing these challenges, including management workshops for facility and district managers, the strengthening of the mental health omponent of the Primary Healthcare 101 clinical and training guidelines and clarifying the roles of primary care nurses and community counsellors.