BasicNeeds Pakistan (BNPAK) is an independent BasicNeeds program and a member of the BasicNeeds international federation headquartered in the United Kingdom, with partners in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Lao PDR, China, Vietnam, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Colombia and the United States. Working in Pakistan since 2013, BNPAK is among few non-governmental organizations in the region that have a comprehensive community based approach to address the needs of people with mental health problems.
The organization’s mission is to enable people with mental health conditions and epilepsy and their families to live and work successfully in their communities by combining health, socio-economic and community oriented solutions with changes in policy, practice and resource allocation.
The BNPAK program launched with the aim of implementing and adapting BasicNeeds International’s five steps approach for mental health and development in Pakistan:
- Capacity Building
- Community Mental Health
BNPAK is currently working with local partner organizations to implement Mental Health and Development projects in three districts within the Sindh province: Korangi, Malir and Matiari. In response to increasing demands and successful demonstration of impact of the BNPAK approach to mental health issues, the organization is also expanding its geographical horizon to underprivileged areas of Punjab and Balochistan.
- Mental health training for community volunteers: Community volunteers are integral to delivering the BasicNeeds Model. They help identify people who need psychiatric help in the community and support them through outreach mental health camps and follow-up clinics, ensuring that they take their medication regularly. BasicNeeds Pakistan provides training to volunteers on various topics including types of mental illnesses, their symptoms, medicines and their side effects, raising awareness on mental health and tackling the stigma, community rehabilitation, and data collection.
- Creating livelihood opportunities for women living with mental health conditions: In 2016, BasicNeeds Pakistan set up the Centre for Women’s Enterprise and Development (CWED) to support women living with mental illness. Currently more than 75 women are enrolled at CWED and are involved in handicraft making.
As of December 2016, BasicNeeds Pakistan has provided support to 16,703 people affected by mental illness, their carertakers, and their family members through care and livelihood provision.
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