Total health consists not just of physical health but also mental health which consists of the emotional, cognitive and behavioral states of the individual. If attention is not paid to this part, the general goal of wholeness will not be achieved. The Africa Center for Health Leadership organizes a psychosocial care and health counseling program that involves providing affordable counseling for all who need it.
Working with volunteer counselors, clinical psychologists, and social workers, it offers health counseling, genetic counseling, HIV counseling and Testing, psychotherapy services, rehabilitation, and referral services. Of particular interest to ACHL are clients with chronic or highly stigmatized illnesses, those struggling with serious emotional problems, those in highly stigmatized occupations or sexual orientations. Others are; survivors of serious accidents, gender-based violence, bomb blasts, floods, fire disasters and other emergency situations. Intending couples and relations of persons going through emotional troubles are also among our list of clients. Basically, the mental health program aims to:
- Provide psychosocial and health counseling to clients either in health care settings, at home or in our service outlets.
- Create opportunities for the enlightenment and continuing education of health professionals, their clients and community members on the importance of psychosocial counseling and other mental health interventions through seminars, workshops, communities, and dialogues.
- Implement various strategies to promote optimal mental health in the communities and prevent mental illness and other health conditions arising from poor mental health and coping strategies.
- Make appropriate referrals to health institutions or experts who can assist to address complicated mental health and other health challenges
- Focus on mental health issues affecting the youth, women, children and old people.
The mental health program currently hopes to collaborate with different hospitals, parastatals, and organizations to do the following:
- Referral of eligible patients and clients to access our services
- Collaboration on health personnel training and re-orientation in the integration of psychosocial care into health service delivery
- Collaboration with various communities and constituencies to organize sensitization activities on mental health and social wellbeing as may be necessary.
- Exchange of staff and resource persons to facilitate implementation of psychosocial and mental health education programmes
- Needs assessments, operational research and other research endeavors aimed at improving access to quality psychosocial services