Mental health in Nepal: an update from our partners, Unity in Health

Suicide is the leading cause of death for females in Nepal between the ages of 15-45, accounting for 16% of deaths.[1] Thanks in part to support from Euromonitor, Unity in Health, is looking to address this issue by improving the mental healthcare provision in Nepal. Working with a local NGO, KOSHISH, the programme brings together Nepalese health professionals and expert mental healthcare volunteers to improve standards of care for people experiencing mental illness.

Training sessions by Unity in Health staff from the UK over the last two months have included occupational therapy, first aid, and medication management – delivered to over 30 KOSHISH staff. An art therapy group was also facilitated for staff and patients: this enabled them to engage in enjoyable activities whilst increasing self-esteem and social skills.

Unity in Health is supporting KOSHISH in producing clinical guidelines, best practice, and embedding a training programme for staff. Volunteers have also helped to create new information resources to be distributed in the community – posters with pictures and symbols are especially effective as they can covey health messages to both literate and illiterate people and can be promoted across KOSHISH’s health care settings.

João Marçal-Grilo, Unity in Health’s Co-Founding Director says “This video hopefully gives a glimpse of what our first placement has been all about, and what we have been able to achieve with the support of Euromonitor and other organisations/individuals we have been working with.”

Over the next few months Unity in Health will be looking to form further partnerships with local NGOs and healthcare providers to further strengthen mental healthcare provision in Asia’s poorest country.

Sarah Hunter, CSR Director, comments; “Unity in Health are a fantastic organisation who are doing much-needed work in Nepal through our partnership. We are proud to see their growth and look forward to our continued relationship.”

Our partnership with Unity in Health enables us to work towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, part of our commitment as signatories to the United Nations Global Compact.

[1] https://ijmhs.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13033-016-0073-7

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