Interaction program with the stakeholders of Jhapa district, Nepal

Mental health is an overshadowed and under-prioritized issue. Hence, to sensitize the stakeholders on mental health and most importantly maternal mental health, a half-day interaction program was organized with the local stakeholders of the Jhapa district. This program was organized on 1 November 2021 at Hotel Siddhartha. Altogether 43 participants, including the deputy mayor, municipality administrative officer, chief of the women and children division, health coordinator, health in-charge, and the birthing center in-charge of three municipalities of Jhapa district, participated in the workshop.

The program was formally started with an opening remark followed by a presentation on the global and national context of mental health by the site lead of ENHANCE project. After setting a context, the ENHANCE Ph.D. fellow, Prasansa Subba, gave a presentation on maternal mental health, and gaps and challenges in the current community mental health program. The ENHANCE research fellow then discussed how the ‘Thinking Healthy Programme’ can be an appropriate program to address the current gap in maternal mental health.

A discussion was held towards the end of the program where the vice mayors from three municipalities, who are responsible for handling social affairs in the municipalities, voiced the need for psychosocial support for women and everyone in general. Overall, the program was fruitful as it gave a space to talk about the need for mental health and discuss one’s role at the health facility and the municipality level.

The news about the event was also covered by a local online news website.

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