Starting from 14th January through to the 19th, the BasicNeeds Community Mental Health Model went through a review process after a 3-year multi-country programme implemented by partners in India, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria. The review meeting took place within the Commonwealth Foundation complex at Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London.
The review process offered a unique opportunity for partners to reflect on the model, present country specific programmes in ways that promoted learning, and helped in developing roadmap for future interventions. Godwin Etim and Kizito Ebhohimen represented Gede Foundation at the event.
The meeting was funded by Grand Challenges Canada (GCC), organised and co-facilitated by a team from UK based staff of BasicNeeds and Christian Blind Mission (CBM). Different sessions provided practical approaches for the review of the model, which, initially, was to demonstrate effectiveness of social franchising in achieving scale up for mental health care and development in low and medium income countries. Participants also visited the Bethlehem Royal Hospital http://museumofthemind.org.uk/ that was founded in 1247 and was the first institution in the UK to specialise in the care of the mentally ill. The hospital continues to provide in-patient care as part of the South London and Maudsley National Health Scheme (NHS) Foundation Trust, and has been based in south London since 1930.
Going forward, participants developed a strategic framework reflecting experiences, results and lesson learned from previous programme within the boundaries of proven as well as improved indicators to ensure that interventions address the corresponding expected outcomes and impact through the Theory of Change.
The event was capped with a reunion of the entire BasicNeeds family stretched to 1999, and characterised by resounding goodwill messages from past and current partners, staff and Board of Directors to Chris Underhill, Founder of BasicNeeds who has worked as a social entrepreneur in the field of disability and development for decades.
Partners and other stakeholders reiterated their commitments to contribute in addressing mental health and disability in regions that are most affected. The merger of BasicNeeds Uk with CBM UK presents the opportunity for more strategic focus for programmes that address both physical and mental disabilities.