TEWWY's Mental Health Intervention Program, inspired by the Friendship Bench Zimbabwe, adapts WHO's mental health Gap Action Program (mhGAP) which offers evidence-based intervention guidelines designed to promote mental health in hopes of preventing and reducing suicides in low- and middle- income countries.
In order to maximize the support for undeserved communities and best mobilize the power of elderly women in the change-making process, TEWWY's Mental Health Intervention Program promotes Physical, Emotional and Social Wellbeing. We tap into the power of story-telling, mobile technology, one-on-one support and life skills building for both elderly women and the community at large to deliver mental health treatment, promotion and capacity building in service delivery.
Retired elderly women (Wisdom&Wellness Counselors - WWCs) trained in Interpersonal Counseling, share wisdom found in stories while employing modern technology to connect-with & provide individuals and communities in Tanzania mental health services & support. The WWCs facilitate safe-spaces - Wisdom&Wellness Circles - for people to share experiences & let go of their pain as they find comfort in community.
mhGAP operations manual: mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP). Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Close to 800,000 people die by suicide every year; that’s one person every 40 seconds. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally. People with severe mental health conditions die prematurely – as much as two decades early – due to preventable physical conditions. Around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents have a mental health condition. Suicide occurs in all regions of the world, with 79% of global suicides happening in low- and middle-income countries. .
An estimated two thirds of people affected by a mental health condition globally receive no treatment, even in the countries with the most resources. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), financial and human resources are often not sufficient, unevenly distributed and inefficiently used. According to data in WHO’s Mental health atlas 2017, fewer than one in every 5000 people with depression were treated in low-income countries, compared with roughly one in every 3000 people in LMICs and one in every 300 people in high-income countries.
Inadequate recognition and engagement of elderly women and intergenerational teams in providing community-led support structures and wisdom resources for underserved communities leads to exclusion of the elderly in social settings upon retirement from the workforce.
Stigma against mental health conditions is widespread in all sectors of society. People with these conditions often face discrimination, violations of their rights and social exclusion by members of the general public, social welfare or educational systems, and even at times the health-care system.
The total economic output lost to Mental, Neurological and Substance Use conditions has been estimated at US$1 trillion per year due to lost production and consumption opportunities at both individual and societal levels. People with these conditions also face stigmatization and discrimination, with systematic denial of their basic human rights, ranging from limited opportunities for education and employment to abuse and denial of freedom, sometimes within health care facilities.