BasicNeeds is an International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO) working to improve the lives of those living with mental illness and epilepsy.
By working in partnership with local partners and people, BasicNeeds has built an innovative and effective model for recovery and sustained good mental health that uses meaningful work and community support, as well as treatment, to help those living with mental illness in resource-poor settings.
By working in partnership with mentally ill people, rather than simply for them, BasicNeeds has built a unique and effective model for recovery and sustained good mental health. The model uses meaningful work and community support, as well as treatment to help improve lives.
Our approach totreatmentincludes providing medication and psychosocial support in partnership with local governments and Ministries of Health. It is low cost and sustainable because webuild the capacityof existing health professionals and services rather than starting from scratch. We also build the capacity of participants by encouraging them to be members ofself-help groupsto support their on-going recovery and to reduce stigma by helping the broader community understand what mental illness is.
We also createlivelihoodopportunitiesfor people with mental illness and epilepsy in developing countries. Our research shows that chances of a long-term recovery are hugely improved by working and from the pride that comes from being an economic asset to your family and community.
Our way of working is summarised below:
Capacity building– Identifying, mobilising, sensitising and training mental health and development stakeholders
Community mental health– Enabling effective and affordable community oriented mental health treatment services
Livelihoods– Facilitating opportunities for affected individuals to gain or regain the ability to work, earn and contribute to family and community life
Research– Generatingevidence from the practice of mental health and development
Collaboration– Forging partnerships with stakeholders who are involved in implementing the model on the ground and/or are responsible for policy and practice decisions to improve mental health provision.
The combination of hands-on practical work with rigorousresearchand data collection supports people with mental illness and epilepsy to make their voice heard at a local level. It allows BasicNeeds tocollaboratewith a range of partners to advocate for and create change at a national level, and to increase the prominence of mental illness and epilepsy on the global stage.
The convergence of the approaches outlined above in our model of work is what makes BasicNeeds unique. To date, over 657,000 people benefited from our programmes in 12 countries.