In 2015, the Columbia University Global Mental Health Program, in collaboration with our partners at the Africa Mental Health Foundation, was awarded a large grant from Grand Challenges Canada to help develop mental health care services in rural Kenya. In January 2016, Dr. Tahilia Rebello visited the clinics in Kenya.
Over 20 clinics in three countries have been established over the past 6 months in addition to over 100 Community Health Workers that have been trained on how to screen for mental health conditions and appropriately connect people to care. Work with the government has been done to secure funding for medication and clinical services. Some the the County governments that have been providing financial and political support to the initiative have announced that they will now completely cover the education costs of individuals who desire to receive training in mental health care.
This is an unprecedented and crucial step for building clinical care capacity, fighting stigma (by acknowledging the impact and importance of addressing mental health issues), and the first step towards getting people the help they need to decrease the burden of illness at both the individual and population level. Dr. Rebello says, “I am immensely inspired and honored to be a part of this initiative.”
See more photos of her trip here.