Community mental health teams in low- and middle-income countries

Author: 
R. Thara, S. John and S. Chatterjee
Publication date: 
1 February 2014

The dearth of trained mental health professionals and the huge gap in providing accessible services in many low- and

middle-income countries have led to the identification of alternate providers of care in these countries. Community

mental health teams seem to fill this lacuna in some of these places. This editorial addresses issues of the need for

such teams, their composition, responsibilities and limitations. With adequate training, these teams are able to carry

out a broad array of tasks such a case identification, referrals, elementary counselling, family support and psychosocial

interventions. While these teams are generally found to be enthusiastic, they require periodic monitoring and support

with which they can well be a critical element of the mental health care team.