WHO in consultation with partners has developed PM+, an innovative intervention that is brief, designed for use by non-specialist health workers, transdiagnostic and specifically developed to help adversity-affected people. Typically, PM+ is 5 sessions long and can be delivered to a group or to an individual client. Non-specialist health workers deliver the intervention having completed short intensive training and importantly, under close supervision. This is likely to result in reduced or no need for specialist involvement for many people with mild-moderate mental health problems. A strength of PM+ is its transdiagnostic approach. PM+ is designed to reduce distress for clients irrespective of formal diagnosis, reducing the need for specialist diagnostic processes and increasing the potential coverage of the intervention to anyone facing mental health problems after adversity. These clients may include people living in adversity, such as living in impoverished or violent neighborhoods or in camps for displaced persons. The intervention is not designed to be used with clients at imminent risk of suicide or those with severe mental disorder, such as psychosis.
PM+ draws upon well-known and evidence-based strategies: problem solving counselling combined with selected behavioral techniques. In combining these strategies, this program aims to address both psychological problems (for example, stress, fear, feelings of helplessness) and, where possible, underlying practical problems (for example, livelihood problems, conflict in the family and so on).
The intervention is fully manualized, including manuals for training purposes and for para-professionals to deliver the intervention in individual and group format. It also includes the assessment tools (pre-, during and post-intervention) and client worksheets (for the individual version) and pictures (for the group version). All manuals and tools are systematically translated to each local language and sensitively adapted to the cultural setting with inputs from a range of stakeholders.