MhGap Project in Ethiopia: What’s next

The Mental Health Forum held in Addis-Ababa last February discussed the Federal Ministry of Health’s plans for expansion of mental health services into the country’s primary health care system.

The forum underlined the relevance of mental health to the Ethiopian context and clarified the national plan of scaling-up mental health services. The plan aims at reaching full coverage through a 12-year process. The Ministry’s plan follows the three-year demonstration phase of WHO Mental Health Gap Action Program that was supported by our foundation and the European Commission.

According to the current plan, all regions of Ethiopia will be involved and over 300 non-specialized health workers will receive training in mental health. Their training will be in accordance with the WHO mhGAP package of intervention.

Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) were signed between the FMOH and six training institutions, namely Amanuel Mental Specialized Hospital and the universities of Mekelle, Jimma, Hawassa, Bahir Dar and Haramaya. All of these institutions will be involved in the scale-up process, a collaboration never before seen in the WHO African Region.