The aims of the Biaber Project are to improve access to treatment for common mental disorders, improve the quality of treatment provided and reduce stigma. In order to achieve these aims, the Biaber Project delivers a training system for trainers, counsellors and peer supervisors to exponentially increase the number of patients receiving mental health treatment when and where it is needed.
A major component of the treatment provided is interpersonal therapy. Interpersonal therapy has been demonstrated to be effective in multiple randomized control trials in other low-resource settings.1-5 For example, in Goa, India, the MANAS trial showed interpersonal therapy delivered by lay counsellors to be effective for patients with common mental disorders attending public primary care facilities.4-5
The Biaber Project offers a culturally-specific adaptation of interpersonal therapy that integrates an understanding of Ethiopian cultural practices and traditional pathways to care, providing a brief, safe, effective and affordable treatment. This project will ensure that interpersonal therapy can be delivered in the Ethiopian context by healthcare providers and lay workers with little or no previous mental health experience.