15. aug, 2019

Here is our poster for the 19th WPA World Congress of Psychiatry

Where no psychiatrists are needed: building agency of women to address SRHR and Mental Health problems in Guinee

By realizing the potential of their own resources women can address mental health, social and sexual-reproductive health needs in Guinea.

In Guinea, access to mental health and SRHR services is among the lowest worldwide. The 2014 Ebola outbreak hindered development of an already weak health system and increased mental illness. High rates of teenage pregnancy, gender inequality combined with female genital mutilation (97% of women aged 15-49) contributes to mortality and social suffering.

Our design is based on latest insights in realist research, complexity theory and implementation theory. As such it aims to show how sensitive issues can be effectively addressed in a complex setting, synergizing the potentialities, approaches and expertise of different actors and partners. The method leads to specific actions that
Select and ‘dynamize’ agents of change in communities, who will work through different networks and groups according to needs and priorities identified in a repetitious process;
Use social actions including theatre and public debates as effective methods of transforming people's behaviour through instilled reflection on contexts that shape mental health, SRHR and SGBV issues.
Organise cross referral and collaboration between a variety of services, and strengthen accountability and sustainability of service delivery.

Innovative aspects: We do not work with preconceived ideas for solutions, western-based blueprints or donor-specific protocols. We organize exchange between local and international partners to link local effectiveness to international knowledge.

Results and conclusions
Application of new insights in implementation theory and complexity management leads to a dynamic process of change, rather than traditional project implementation.

Take away points – less obvious than many would think:
1. Listen to people – understand their real issues
2. Do not medicalize social-economical problems
3. Use community systems
4. Strengthen the agency of people to design their own solutions