Enhancing Mental Health Services in Eastern DRC
HAI and DRC Ministry of Health officials will collaborate to place recent university-level psychology graduates in district hospitals in the DRC. Through this program, Congolese graduates will receive trauma-informed training, including evidence-based interventions, and gain hands-on experience as mental health professionals as they provide direct care to incoming patients. The program will also team up with other service providers in the area, such as associations of nurses and midwives, private health clinics, and community-based development groups, to integrate a psychosocial component into their work and reduce symptoms of PTSD and depression among trauma and sexual assault survivors. As a result of these activities, HAI will expand the breadth of trauma-informed mental health services available in Eastern DRC and help sensitize communities to the needs of victims of violence and sexual assault.
Program activities include 1) establishing a network of skilled mental health professionals in Eastern DRC's primary health care system, empowering and training local health care providers to ensure program sustainability, 2) providing direct mental health services in district hospitals, with a focus on survivors of sexual assault and patients exhibiting symptoms of trauma and depression, 3) integrating these services into primary healthcare facilities such that mental health counselors can help survivors of sexual assault and trauma overcome cultural barriers and stigma that limit access to these services, and 4) linking mental health services to other providers and community networks in the Eastern DRC.
mental health, trauma
- Democratic Republic of the Congo