COMMUNITY-BASED HIV & MENTAL HEALTH CARE
The role of community-based services within the continuum of HIV and mental health care
Clear, evidence-based links have been identified between HIV infection and a higher prevalence of mental health conditions compared to the general population. This discussion paper draws on existing policy and good practice to identify key policy themes and types of interventions for improving community-based HIV and mental health care.
The paper also references two EATG-sponsored stakeholder events. The first event, which was internal to
EATG, demonstrated that there is already significant experience among members about the HIV and mental health continuum of care. The second event included stakeholders external to EATG. The discussion made it very clear that WHO and others have been working on building a solid HIV and mental health continuum of care for years now. Presenters shared examples of lay workers and clinicians collaborating at the community and institutional/hospital levels, adapting what they do to national needs and the shape of their HIV epidemic.
The paper recommends focusing ongoing discussion on three main questions:
• What is community-based HIV and mental health service provision?
• What services are best provided in community-based HIV and mental health care?
• How important is capacity building in providing community-based services?
In addition, the paper recommends five priorities for follow-up action:
• Legitimize community-based HIV and mental health services in local, national and global policy and
• Make community-based services the top priority for investment and growth
• Deliver community-based HIV and mental health services through an integrated network of ‘friendly’,
stigma-free service providers
• Focus community-based mental health services for people living with HIV on common mental health
conditions, mental health and wellbeing, and mental health rights.
• Establish a comprehensive approach to capacity building of the community-based HIV and mental health
workforce, both professional and non-professional/lay