By strengthening mental health and psychosocial support services, HealthNet TPO wants to improve the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of people living in Afghanistan, particularly for women and children. There is no health without mental health.
Mental health in Afghanistan
Mental health disorders are alarmingly high in Afghanistan, exacerbated by suffering from conflict, poverty, and personal losses. Stigma associated to mental health disorders prevent many from seeking treatment, and those that do are unable to access the care they need due to a lack of services, causing many to slip through the gaps.
Mental health and psychosocial support services provided by the public health system are extremely low. Lack of knowledge, training and resources, particularly in local health centres prevent staff from detecting, treating and referring issues to specialist care.
HealthNet TPO has been improving access to and quality of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services for the people of Afghanistan since 2015, with support from the European Union (EU). Our MHPSS interventions follow two routes: (1) improving the availability of MHSS services within public health facilities by increasing the number of trained MHPSS staff; (2) improving access and quality of mental health services at community levels and at schools.
Health Social Counsellors
Integrating mental health into the health system
Supporting child mental health
Azita's Story: Becoming a psychosocial counsellor changed my life and helped me improve the lives of others
Growing up in a small, remote village in Badakhsan province, Azita did not expect anything from her life. From a young age, she was taught not to dream big and to behave as the woman society expected her to be. As a result, Azita felt very isolated, she had extremely low self-esteem and imagined her life as meaningless. In 2019, Azita joined onto HealthNet TPO’s psychosocial training programme to become a trained psychosocial counsellor. Not only did the training allow her to improve her own wellbeing and view on her world, but she now had the resources to help others.