A mental health training program for community health workers in India: impact on recognition of mental disorders, stigmatizing attitudes and confidence
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Unmet needs for mental health treatment in low and middle-income countries are pervasive. For mental health to be effectively integrated into primary health care in low-income countries, grass roots workers need to acquire knowledge and skills to be able to recognize, refer and support people experiencing mental disorders. A controlled pre-test post-test study design evaluated a training intervention for community health workers in India, designed to educate about types of mental disorders and their causes, and to provide training on how to manage symptomatic individuals. Primary aims of the training were to increase recognition of mental disorders, to reduce stigmatizing attitudes regarding mental illness, and to increase self-perceived competence in providing care to people with mental health problems. Participants were 56 community health workers from rural India. A total of 34 individuals formed an intervention group, 22 comprised a control group. There was a statistically significant increase in the ability of the intervention group to recognize mental disorders in vignettes, a decrease in stigmatizing opinions and an increase in self-perceived competence in working with people who have poor mental health. The findings from this study indicate that the training was effective in achieving modest-to-large improvements on most outcome measures.
International Journal of Culture and Mental Health
Psychology not elsewhere classified