11 QUESTIONS TO DEMYSTIFY MHAT

01

Who is MHAT?

MHAT or Mental Health Action Trust,  is a Charitable Trust, based in Kozhikode, Kerala, which provides good quality, comprehensive mental health care to the poorest sections of the population with severe mental disorders.

02

What is unique about the way MHAT operates?

MHAT’s work is entirely based in the community with no provision for hospital admissions. This means patients continue to remain in their homes or localities while receiving the mental health treatment

03

How can a Mental Health service be offered entirely in the community?

This is possible because the MHAT model is volunteer-led, community-driven, recovery and rehabilitation oriented and based on the principle of task sharing.

04

What is task-sharing?

Task sharing involves redefining the dynamics of psychiatric care with experienced psychiatrists taking care of critical aspects of care and delegating the rest of the tasks to professionals with less training as well as to mental health workers.

 

05

How can “non -experts” effectively participate in the delivery of mental health care?

This is possible because these “non-experts” are offered context-relevant training, support and supervision on a continuous basis as they engage in the delivery of care.

 

06

Why was the need for an innovation in the model felt?

The model puts the ownership of patient recovery not just on the patient, family or doctor but rather on the entire community, which includes volunteers and mental health workers. This is extremely important, particularly in a country where the treatment gap is about 80%.

07

How does MHAT afford the costs involved?

This model is cost-effective because it is decentralized, thereby making it possible to offer it to the poorest of the poor. And the community makes a contribution to take care of the expenses.

08

How does MHAT reach its services and maintain clinical records in a dispersed setup?

MHAT accomplishes this by using cutting edge technology involving databases, apps and video conferencing tools.

09

Who supports MHAT in the community?

All of MHAT’s community services are provided in collaboration with like-minded local partners in the community such as palliative care centres and other social organizations.

 

10

What is the approach and frequency of delivering the primary clinical care to the patient?

Clinics are usually held at weekly intervals with the MHAT team travelling to the clinics from its base. Community volunteers are trained on using virtual meetings, therefore in the post Covid world, engagement with patients and care givers happens through phone and video conferencing too. 

 

11

What other services does MHAT offer?

Besides community-based clinical service, the MHAT Rotary Centre for Urban Engagement (R-Cue) at Kozhikode acts as the hub for all other activities. Besides hosting the MHAT offices, it houses the MHAT Centre for Psychotherapy, The Mann Art Café, the MHAT Information Centre, and the Art Therapy Centre. It is also the venue for various training courses, meetings and the bimonthly Talaash programme.

 

“MHAT believes that apart from bio-psycho-social care, other healing approaches also play a pivotal role in helping achieve recovery. MHAT is also involved in multidisciplinary research to this end” Dr Manoj Kumar, DPM, MD, FRC Psych, Founder and Clinical Director

 

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