With a grant from the Canadian Government’s Grand Challenges Canada (GCC), the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto is delivering alternative mental health care treatments to Filipino children with mood disorders.
The project is one of 11 chosen by GCC during the third round of proposals to the Global Mental Health program, which funds innovative ideas to improve treatments and access to care for mental health issues in developing countries. To date, the Global Mental Health program has funded 61 projects in Africa, Asia and South America.
Filipinos living with mental health issues generally face the problem of access to treatment. Though some mental health treatment is available, the lack of services in rural areas, the short supply of mental health professionals and the high cost of drugs make access difficult, or for many, impossible.
The project will develop a new channel for mental health care by setting up social enterprises that will hire and train professional staff, and provide mindfulness-based therapy treatment on a sliding scale of payments in which poorer clients would pay very little for their care. If successful, this project could catalyze the development of a national chain of some 1,000 community-based mental health clinics.
Mindfulness-based therapy is a relatively recent addition in the mental health field, and is now recognized as an effective intervention for a variety of problems, such as anxiety, depression, and stress. It can be especially useful in an environment where mental health resources are limited because of the cost-effective group setting.
The call for proposals for round four is anticipated to be in the fall 2015. Subscribe to the GCC mailing list to learn about future funding opportunities in Global Mental Health.