Innovative Strategies to Strengthen Mental Health Gap at Kanyama First Level Hospital in Lusaka Zambia: A Balanced Care Model Using the Who Mental Health Intervention Guide, 2019

Dalal Naeem, M. I.1 & Ravi Paul2*

1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University Teaching Hospitals Adult Clinic 6, Lusaka, Zambia
2Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, University Teaching Hospitals, Adult Clinic 6, Lusaka, Zambia

Dr. Ravi Paul, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University Teaching Hospitals Adult Clinic 6, Lusaka, Zambia.

Keywords: Mental Health Gap; Mental Health Services; Community Psychiatry; World Health Organisation (WHO); Mental Health Gap Intervention Tool (mhGAP-IT)


Despite progress in psychiatry and mental health, the treatment gap remains high in Zambia. A study done in 2015 by Paul et al [1] looking into treatment seeking behaviours in mental health, it was found that the Zambian culture, myths and stereotypes hinder open discussions regarding mental health (MH) and its complications such as suicide which in seemingly on the rise [2]. A holistic approach to treating MH involves a treatment model known as the biopsychosocial (BPS) approach of management. The BSP uses a person centred view of illness, rather than simply a disease centred one [3] Currently, there is no set standard Mental Health (MH) screening in Primary Health Care (PHC). This study identified an innovative, scalable and sustainable solution in a resource-constrained health system. MH services to be developed as alternatives to institutionalised care. With motivation of available staffing by promoting and delivering MH with available resources at the Health care centre.

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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