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In collaboration with the Government of South Sudan and the Ministry of Health and with support  from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), Amref Health Africa’s M(H)IND project stands as a beacon of hope in South Sudan, a nation grappling with the aftermath of conflict and trauma.

With only three psychiatrists serving a population of more than 10 million where , the need for comprehensive mental health interventions is immense. This groundbreaking initiative, which works to address the acute shortage of mental health services, marks a pivotal moment for health care in the country. Amid occasional inter- and intra-communal conflicts in certain areas that run against the grain of the absence of major country-wide violence since 2016, Amref has chosen seven stable and safe counties in which to roll out its pilot initiative.

Leveraging its deep understanding of the South Sudanese health system and extensive experience in community health development, Amref’s M(H)IND project embodies a holistic approach to mental health care. By seamlessly integrating mental health services into existing community programs and public health care facilities, Amref ensures that no one is left behind on the path to mental well-being.

Amref implements a multifaceted strategy to address mental health challenges, focusing on equipping community health workers and volunteers to identify, refer, monitor, and provide care for over 1,500 patients with various psychological, neurological, and psychiatric conditions. Amref also supports socioeconomic activities and conducts public campaigns to address mental health stigma and raise awareness. Moreover, primary health care centers receive training and resources to offer sustainable mental health services, while comprehensive training sessions for clinicians and two newly established mental health clinics serve thousands of people. Finally, the project conducts operational research and provides technical assistance to integrate mental health care into the national health system.

SNF’s support enables Amref to expand the reach of the M(H)IND project which focuses initially on two counties. By leveraging partnerships and embracing best practices in mental health interventions, Amref aims to reach over 700,000 individuals, including the family members of patients, across seven counties. This initiative represents a crucial step towards addressing the significant mental health crisis in a nation striving to rebuild after years of conflict and instability.