Providing mental health care in low resource environments


Vikram Patel gives an illuminating account of the practice of psychiatry in extreme low resource environments. He talks about the steps necessary to establish effective mental health care, describing first the assessment of needs, the importance of measuring the types of illness, prevalence and impact on daily life and the importance of efficient resourcing when planning. Whilst talking about the problems associated with institutions that still exist in some parts, he also talks about the beneficial work being carried out by other mental health care organisations. He is encouraging of the contribution that psychiatrists from more developed areas can make by working in these low resource environments.


Date published: 29 October 2008

Audio running time: 17 minutes

Credits: 0.5


Learning outcomes:


By the end of this podcast we hope you will:


  • be more aware of how to conduct needs assessment in low resource environments

  • be appreciative of the importance of measuring the types of illnesses, prevalence and impact they have on daily life

  • recognise the importance of efficient resource allocation and the availability of cost-effective interventions when planning

  • be familiar with the problems of institutions and the negative impact these can have

  • be aware of the success stories such as the work carried out by the Schizophrenia Research Foundation, a mental health organisation in India.


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Please note: This podcast was recorded in 2008. Please be aware that some of the material covered and/or guidance may have changed.
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