The relationship between HIV, TB and mental illness is bi-directional and is inevitable in most cases. Poor mental health is both a risk factor and byproduct of HIV and TB which complicates both the course of the disease and treatment. The situation is often compounded by the psychological impacts that stigma and discrimination bring which aggravates the symptoms of mental health conditions. Living with HIV and/or TB is a significant risk factor for a decline in the individual’s mental health and developing psychiatric illness. On the other hand, the medications of HIV and TB for a long time cause frequent and debilitating side effects, such as psychosis. Thus, Trishuli Plus has established a Mental Health Screening and Referral Service Site at Manamaiju, Kathmandu to screen, provide psychosocial counselling and refer to treatment.
The major services provided are:
• Psychosocial Counselling
• Referral to treatment (if required)
Advocacy and lobbying with the local government are one big step to drag attention towards Mental Health. Generalizing the importance of integrating local government into action, Trishuli Plus under self-initiation organized one day orientation on ‘suicide prevention’ to mark World Suicide Prevention Day, 2022 among FCHVs, Health Post In charge and Health section representative of Tokha Municipality. It was an initiation to understand the present scenario of mental health and disorders prevalent in the targeted community and the attitude of health workers towards problem. A collective consensual was agreed after the orientation to prioritize mental health and increase awareness and advocacy at the community level.