Mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) disorders represent a major source of disability and premature mortality worldwide. However, in developing countries patients with MNS disorders are often poorly managed and treated, particularly in marginalized, impoverished areas where the mental health gap and the treatment gap can reach 90%. Efforts should be made in promoting help by making mental health care more accessible. In this article, we address the challenges that psychological and psychiatric services have to face in a low-resource context, taking our experience at a Moroccan rehabilitation center as a case study. A sample of 60 patients were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire during the period of 2014–2015. The questionnaire investigated the reactions and feelings of the patients to the rehabilitation program, and their perceived psychological status and mental improvement, if any. Interviews were then transcribed and processed using ATLAS.ti V.7.0 qualitative analysis software. Frequencies and co-occurrence analyses were carried out. Despite approximately 30 million inhabitants within the working age group, Morocco suffers from a shortage of specialized health workers. Our ethnographic observations show that psychiatric treatment can be ensured, notwithstanding these hurdles, if a public health perspective is assumed. In resource-limited settings, working in the field of mental health means putting oneself on the line, exposing oneself to new experiences, and reorganizing one’s own skills and expertise. In the present article, we have used our clinical experience at a rehabilitation center in Fes as a case study and we have shown how to use peer therapy to overcome the drawbacks that we are encountered daily in a setting of limited resources.

Empowering patients of a mental rehabilitation center in a low-resource context: A Moroccan experience as a case study

RANIA, NADIA;MARTINI, MARIANO;SIRI, ANNA;BRAGAZZI, NICOLA LUIGI
2017-01-01

Abstract

Mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) disorders represent a major source of disability and premature mortality worldwide. However, in developing countries patients with MNS disorders are often poorly managed and treated, particularly in marginalized, impoverished areas where the mental health gap and the treatment gap can reach 90%. Efforts should be made in promoting help by making mental health care more accessible. In this article, we address the challenges that psychological and psychiatric services have to face in a low-resource context, taking our experience at a Moroccan rehabilitation center as a case study. A sample of 60 patients were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire during the period of 2014–2015. The questionnaire investigated the reactions and feelings of the patients to the rehabilitation program, and their perceived psychological status and mental improvement, if any. Interviews were then transcribed and processed using ATLAS.ti V.7.0 qualitative analysis software. Frequencies and co-occurrence analyses were carried out. Despite approximately 30 million inhabitants within the working age group, Morocco suffers from a shortage of specialized health workers. Our ethnographic observations show that psychiatric treatment can be ensured, notwithstanding these hurdles, if a public health perspective is assumed. In resource-limited settings, working in the field of mental health means putting oneself on the line, exposing oneself to new experiences, and reorganizing one’s own skills and expertise. In the present article, we have used our clinical experience at a rehabilitation center in Fes as a case study and we have shown how to use peer therapy to overcome the drawbacks that we are encountered daily in a setting of limited resources.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/876859
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