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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 430-436

Community-based psychosocial intervention for persons with severe mental illness in Rural Kerala: Evaluation of training of lay mental health workers

1 Department of Clinical Psychology, Mental Health Action Trust, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
2 Mental Health Action Trust, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
3 Department of Psychiatric Social Work, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
4 Faculty of Science, Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
Dr. T Manoj Kumar
Mental Health Action Trust, Kozhikode, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_126_19

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Background: High-quality mental health care is scarce in rural India. The Mental Health Action Trust a Nongovernmental Organization based in Kozhikode, South India, has been providing free mental health services to the economically disadvantaged people in the surrounding districts. Comprehensive multidisciplinary care is provided through existing health-care clinics through training of lay mental health workers (LMHW). The current paper evaluates the classroom training methods employed to educate the LMHW. Materials and Methods: The training module designed after coordination and need assessment was delivered through classroom training sessions by trained trainers over 2 months weekly 6 h and completed by 13 volunteer LMHW (5 males and 8 females and who were in the age range of 22–56 years) could complete all the modules of training. The evaluation of training was done quantitatively and qualitatively. Results: The LMHW's knowledge, attitudes, perceived interpersonal skills, and confidence levels demonstrated a noticeable change following the classroom training program. Conclusion: It is feasible to train LMHWs to deliver psychosocial interventions for people with severe mental disorders and their families in rural India. In addition to classroom training, case-based training and proper ongoing supervision are required to improve their skills, attitudes, and knowledge.

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