This innovation tests the creation of an innovative model that will enable the delivery of alternative mental health treatment to children with mood disorders.
The project has three main elements:
- To catalyze the creation of a centre of excellence for mindfulness in the Philippines
- To execute a randomized controlled trial that tests the core hypothesis that paraprofessionals can deliver MBCT effectively
- To operate a model clinic delivering MBCT for a sufficient period to demonstrate its economic viability
The project will focus initially on children whose backgrounds present severe challenges to their mental health. These challenges include, but are not limited to chronic poverty, difficult circumstances, trauma, abuse and other forms of crisis.
Mental Health Treatment: MBCT
Following the creation of a centre of excellence for mindfulness, the project will employ and train para-professional staff to provide MBCT (a form of group psychotherapy) to the selected population. In this type of therapy, the “therapist” focuses on helping “patients” learn coping and resilience skills rather than focusing on the particulars of an individual’s problems. The group itself becomes a supportive element in the overall therapy, eliminating the need for an extensively psychiatry trained facilitator.