Community Workers Help Fight Depression

The use of lay counselors is a proven method of treating depression, especially in poorer communities that might not otherwise receive care.
 
India is one of several countries running successful lay counselor programs and is considering a nation-wide network of care. Community members with the nonprofit Sangath receive 40 hours of training before working with local people who have been diagnosed (by psychologists and psychiatrists who also assist with training) with depression, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Treatment can include regular visits, medication, and advice for coping.
 
The solution is optimal for communities with a lack of formally-trained mental healthcare providers. “Poor people can get depression just as rich people do,” says Sangath’s Vikram Patel, “and they’re just as deserving of attention.”

Source: NPR Goats and Soda

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