Partners In Health is a global health organization relentlessly committed to providing a preferential option for the poor in health care across 11 countries—Haiti, Rwanda, Peru, Mexico, Malawi, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Lesotho, Russia and the United States (Navajo Nation, New Mexico, and Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation, South Dakota). By establishing long-term relationships with sister organizations based in settings of poverty, Partners In Health strives to achieve two overarching goals: to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair.
“We go. We make house calls. We build health systems. We stay.”
The Partners In Health (PIH) Cross-Site Mental Health Program supports mental health program development at all the PIH global sites. PIH’s work in mental health is unique in the field of global health for the ways we create and strengthen community-based, primary care, and hospital-linked mental health systems to provide mental health services for complex and co-morbid common and severe mental health conditions in settings where there are few to no services available. PIH has responded to humanitarian crises as opportunities to strengthen health systems to build back better following catastrophic events, demonstrating the feasibility of task-shared, locally adapted, collaborative, comprehensive and community-based services for the long term in “real-world” settings. Since 2009, PIH has created a substantial, measurable, innovative global mental health care delivery model that has the potential to be scaled up nationally in partnership with local communities, governments, and Ministries of Health.
The Partners In Health Cross-Site Mental Health Program aligns mental health service delivery, training, and research, and optimizes academic opportunities with partner institutions.
Our Vision: To improve the lives of the patients and communities we serve by expanding mental health and psychosocial support services across the PIH Mental Health Value chain at all PIH care delivery sites around the globe and the US.
Our Mission: To improve the quality of clinical mental health care and support, accompany care delivery site teams in program development and management, facilitate meaningful cross-site collaborations and knowledge exchange to improve best practices, and advance global mental health equity and delivery through a comprehensive approach to addressing the care of people living with mental health conditions.
Our model is established on the following four key pillars:
Clinical care, and the training, clinical supervision and mentorship needed to support it, as mental health care requires human beings who are prepared and ready for the difficult challenge
Program management and technical advisement on optimal use of resources in context;
Meaningful data collection with monitoring and evaluation, quality improvement, and research support
Shared learning, knowledge sharing, and mutual support, both in person, and using technology with the Cross-Site Mental Health Learning Collaborative.
Summary of relevant work
The Partners In Health Cross Site Mental Health team works in collaboration with local implementers across all 11of PIH’s sites to develop and strengthen mental health services within PIH’s primary care system. Below is a summary of ongoing work across the PIH sites:
Lay counselors and providers deliver psychosocial interventions for integrated care for depression, MDR-TB, and provided crisis response support. PIH is leading Lesotho's technical working group to support development the first national mental health policy and strategic plan.
Close partnerships with community members, traditional healers and lay providers, and facility level providers strengthen the quality and reach of mental health services. Peers and caregivers lead psychosocial rehabilitation groups and PIH works with the MOH to influence policy.
Community mental health workers deliver a psychotherapeutic intervention for depression and anxiety (WHO Problem Management Plus), conduct psychoeducation groups, and work with adolescents in the community. Community members promote restorative justice and gender equity via Women’s Circles.
The Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment Program in Navajo Nation collaborates with key partners to increase access to mental health resources for community members and front-line workers.
SES has established innovative programming to identify, screen, refer, and treat people with a wide range of mental health conditions across diverse vulnerable populations, ranging from treating common mental health conditions, working with migrants, transgendered populations and women and children.
Health center nurses deliver WHO’s PM+ intervention for depression and anxiety with supportive supervision from psychologists. Community-based mental health care is provided in rural public primary care system through mentorship, training, and supervision, psychotherapy, and psychosocial rehabilitation.
Psychiatric and psychological care is integrated in the community, primary care, and district levels, including the national Sierra Leone Psychiatric Teaching Hospital. In partnership with the Ministry of Health, PIH-SL supported the development of the first psychiatry residency program in Sierra Leone at the renovated Sierra Leone Psychiatric Teaching Hospital (SLPTH)