The PIH Kazakhstan mental health program started in 2020 to provide mental health treatment, monitoring, and social support to MDR-TB patients in outpatient settings. The team collaborates with the department of public health and NGOs to provide mental health services and social support to MDR-TB patients, strengthen capacity of non-specialists (task shifting), improve patient follow up, and train medical workers and psychologists in relevant psychotherapy approaches. As of 2023, the team carries out mental health activities in the cities of Almaty and Karaganda for TB patients on M/XDR treatment, TB patients and family members, and TB doctors and psychologists. Since the program launched at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency response and social support are integral to the team’s work. The team is planning to continue expanding the program through psychotherapy trainings, strengthening services and interventions, and continued collaboration with the national government.
The team is piloting a project to improve prevention activities to reduce alcohol and substance use among for youth with the aims to;
- Maintain a peer-to-peer group on alcohol substance use prevention among student youth
- Expand community engagement towards substance use prevention.