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In the slums of many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), the prevalence of serious mental disorders (SMDs) is alarming, with limited access to essential mental health care. Individuals and their families often turn to traditional and faith-based practitioners, considering them more accessible, affordable, and aligned with cultural beliefs. While these practices can be effective for common mental disorders like anxiety and depression, those with SMDs usually require additional biomedical treatment and follow-up.

The TRANSFORM project is a research initiative aimed at improving access to care for SMDs in disadvantaged communities. This research was funded by the NIHR (NIHR200846) using UK international development funding from the UK Government to support global health research. This research project involves the development of a collaborative care model that brings together traditional as well as faith-based healers, mental health professionals at all levels, primary care practitioners, and community health workers (CHWs). By bridging traditional practices with modern biomedical approaches, this initiative strives to transform the landscape of mental health care in LMICs.

Study Locations

This multidisciplinary research project is in progress in 5 Local Government Areas in Ibadan, Nigeria, and some selected communities in Dakar, Bangladesh.

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