CBM is an international Christian development organisation, committed to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in the poorest communities of the world.
CBM addresses poverty as a cause and a consequence of disability and works in local partnerships to create an inclusive society for all.
Good mental health is essential for the well-being and functioning of individuals, families, communities and societies.
Psychosocial disabilities are a leading cause of disability worldwide. Despite this, they are widely neglected as a development priority, and in low income settings around 80% of people with mental conditions are not able to access the care they need. To compound this, stigma and discrimination is a common experience of many people with psychosocial disability who often have limited access to services and may be excluded from full participation in community life.
Adults and children who suffer from the stigma of psychosocial disabilities are more likely to experience violation of their human rights. Strengthening their voice and providing access to community mental health services have the potential to support their participation in the life of the community and realise their potential.
Focus on community-based work, supported by national and global frameworks
CBM, in partnership with community mental health advisers and partners in the field, has established a large range of programmes, ranging from promoting realisation of human rights though self-help groups, to health system strengthening and psychosocial support in emergencies. These programmes are based in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
In particular, CBM promotes the inclusion of mental health work in community-based rehabilitation (CBR) and through Community Based Inclusive Development. Our wide network of work at a community level consists of a combination of the following:
Health services - a combination of appropriate medical treatment and psychotherapy is often an effective way to treat psychosocial disabilities. We work to make quality services accessible as near to people’s homes as possible.
Peer and family support - because feeling connected to people during one’s daily life enhances everyone’s ability to manage stress and everyday problems. Supportive networks of self-help groups are an effective means of helping people towards finding their own recovery.
Advocacy and empowerment - In all our programmes, self-help groups are encouraged, and in many cases they have become organised at regional or national level to form service user organisations, who are able to effectively advocate for their own needs.
Education and livelihood development - The onset of psychosocial disabilities is often associated with the loss of a stable income, and helping people get into work or school helps to strengthen their position within the community.
At a national level, CBM promotes access to care by working with Governments to strengthening mental health systems and integrate mental health into general health care.
In addition, CBM is strongly engaged in the global mental health movement, working with international and local partners and other NGOs, to raise awareness of the importance of mental health in global development. We work closely with research institutions to improve the evidence base for effective interventions for change, and have a close partnership with WHO to develop world-class materials to support programme development, for example mhGAP and QualityRights. CBM was also actively engaged in the campaign to ensure mental health was recognised in the Sustainable Development Goals, which was successful in highlighting how vital mental health is to global development. #FundaMentalSDG