UiH has been visiting Ilam, Eastern Nepal on a monthly basis since December of last year. Together with our local partner NMC (Nepal Medical College), we bring specialist mental health care to isolated rural communities that otherwise have no access to such form of support. In addition to offering much needed mental health clinical services, our objective is also to build local capacity and support community-based mental health care projects run by those living and working in Ilam.
On our fifth visit to this region (April 2019), we met managers from five different hill-based health care centres. Such services are the first and, in most cases, only port of call for people affected by mental health problems. They are managed and run by Health Assistants (HAs), who with limited training do their best to respond to the complex needs of this region’s impoverished rural communities. Building their capacity to respond to the mental health problems of those seeking support is central to the long-term sustainability of psychosocial interventions in rural Nepal.