TEWWY's mental health intervention programs adapt WHO's mental health Gap Action Program (mhGAP). mhGAP offers evidence-based intervention guidelines designed to promote mental health in low- and middle-income countries.
Our goal is to reduce and prevent suicides by providing evidence-based psychosocial interventions. We achieve this by building social support systems and strengthening community linkages with public health care pathways. Collaboratively, we create safe spaces so that under-resourced and marginalized communities have accessible mental health care. We advocate for policy change and budget to integrate mental health interventions into the community and social services.
Program participants learn, grow, and heal along three pathways, representing the journey they take in our programs. TEWWY believes that all three pathways: civic-mindedness, integrated mental health care, and wellness and economic empowerment, are necessary for good mental health. Elderly women, youth, and marginalized communities need to develop as change-makers of communities—as nonspecialist health care providers, as residents of a community, and as citizens of the world.
The pathways culminate in three long-term outcomes: Wisdom&Wellness® Communities are trained in providing evidence-based psychosocial interventions, are empowered with marketable skills, and are engaged citizens. If these long-term outcomes are achieved, we will have made an important contribution to achieving our ultimate vision of reducing and preventing suicides in Tanzanian communities.
mhGAP intervention guide for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in non-specialized health settings: mental
health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) – version 2.0. World Health Organization - Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO
The treatment gap exceeds 90% in many low- and middle-income countries. Left untreated, depression can lead to co-morbid mental disorders (eg. alcohol and substance abuse), higher rates of suicide, and recurrent episodes. At least 90% of people who have died by suicide have suffered from mental disorders (NIH, 2018).
There is a lack of inclusion and engagement of the elderly population due to social arrangements that are unsuited for addressing the aging population's concerns (UDSM, 2022).
People with mental, neurological, and substance use disorders suffer stigma, discrimination, and systemic denial of their basic human rights (NIH, 2020).
The mental health treatment gap affects the country's economic development through lost productivity, low participation in labor, and increased expenditure on health and social welfare. It is estimated that untreated mental, neurological, and substance use conditions account for more than 10 billion days of lost work annually – the equivalent of US$1 trillion per year (WHO, 2018).