Our purpose is to enable people with mental illness or 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.
Founded in 2000 by Chris Underhill, BasicNeeds has enabled over 650,000 people with mental illness and/or epilepsy across 12 countries in Africa and Asia to have access to treatment, the opportunity to earn an income and to re-integrate themselves successfullly into their families and communities. Thinking beyond the normal practice of a purely medical approach to mental disorders, BasicNeeds has developed a unique Model for Mental Health and Development which takes social and economic factors into account as well, since these are closely linked with mental health. BasicNeeds' work on mental health also reduces povery and restores people's sense of self-worth and dignity, enabling them to live and work successfully in their communities.
The BasicNeeds Model comprises 5 interlinking modules:
Capacity Building: identifying, mobilising, sensitising and training mental health and development stakeholders.
Community Mental Health: enabling effective and affordable community oriented mental health treatment services.
Livelihoods: facilitating opportunities for affected individuals to gain or regain the ability to work, earn and contribute to family and community.
Research: generating evidence from the practice of mental health and development.
Collaboration: managing partnerships and relationships with stakeholders who are involved in implementing the BasicNeeds Model on the ground and/or are responsible for policy and practice decisions.