Video Spotlight

"'I'm a Health Worker' - Abduaraman Gidi" made by IntraHealth International.

The feasibility of a role for community health workers in integrated mental health care for perinatal depression: a qualitative study from Surabaya, Indonesia

Based on an intervention carried out in Surabaya, Indonesia, this qualitative study examines the feasibility and acceptability of CHWs detecting and referring pregnant women and postpartum mothers who might suffer from perinatal depression. 

Piloting a mental health training programme for community health workers in South Africa: an exploration of changes in knowledge, confidence and attitudes

Despite psychiatric disorders contributing to a significant portion of the global disease burden, insufficient access to mental health services is widespread.  This study examined its CHW mental health training program, developed in close collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Health, and evaluates the program’s success in improving the knowledge, skill and confidence among trained CHWs and expanding access to mental health services.

Facing a suicide crisis in his country, this African psychiatrist enlisted grandmothers to step in

In Zimbabwe Dixon Chibanda, a psychiatrist, created a space called “Friendship Benches” that sets aside medical and technical elements of mental healthcare and engages the community through “grandmothers” or local lay health workers.  The grandmothers are trained in a form of cognitive behavioral therapy, but engage their patients in local language which helps reduce stigma associated with mental health in the community.  This program was created to address the overwhelming lack of mental healthcare workers in the country.  Thus far, the program has reached over 30,000 Zimbabweans.  Studies

Hope and despair: community health assistants' experiences of working in a rural district in Zambia.

This paper explores the motivation to become a community health assistant (CHA) in Zambia, the experiences of working in a rural district, and how these experiences affected CHAs’ motivation to work. To examine CHAs’ experiences, data was collected through in-depth interviews with 12 CHAs and observations were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. Personal characteristics such as previous experience and knowledge, passion to serve the community and a desire to improve skills motivated people to become CHAs.

Preventing occupational stress in healthcare workers

Healthcare workers can be susceptible to work related stress. This may be a result of the high expectations they face in their work place, the absence of social support among colleagues, time restraints, and a lack of resources and training. Occupational stress for healthcare workers has the potential to lead to physical illness, “burnout”, or distress and may become an obstacle for them to provide quality health services. It can be costly as well if workers take sick leave or even change jobs as a result of work induced stress and burnout.

A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Trauma-Informed Support, Skills, and Psychoeducation Intervention for Survivors of Torture and Related Trauma in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq

An evaluation of trauma-informed support, skills, and psychoeducation interventions provided by CHWs on depressive symptoms, dysfunction, post-traumatic stress, traumatic grief and anxiety symptoms was conducted in the northern Dohuk region of Kurdistan Iraq. Recruited community health workers included pharmacists, nurses, and physician assistants without any prior formal mental health training.

Community Health Workers: a Resource to Support Antipsychotic Medication Adherence

Community health workers are becoming increasingly integrated into medical settings for the prevention, treatment, and control of chronic disease, particularly for underserved populations. One specific population that may benefit from CHW intervention is individuals with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This commentary examines the ways in which CHWs may be able to best serve these individuals, and proposes methods for facilitating this expanded scope of work. 

CHWs and Mental Health: Equipping community health workers with essential skills for addressing mental health and violence in the home

This full version of a previous feature goes into detail about CHWs and mental health. CHWs encounter psychosocial issues on a daily basis, but their training does not cover this area. This paper discusses the role CHWs can potentially fill in regards to mental health care, the evidence showing the effectiveness of such care, and World Vision’s approach to training CHWs in mental health care issues.  

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