Sanofi Mental Health Program (FAST – Fight Against Stigma) – Armenia

FAST Armenia is a three-year public-private partnership involving the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Armenia, the World Association of Social Psychiatry (WASP) and Sanofi. It aims to improve access to care for people with schizophrenia and/or depression in Armenia, and, therefore, help reduce the impact of some of the most burdensome and costly illnesses (1,2). This is a national program taking place in six regions (Armavir, Tavush, Lori, Syunik, Shirak, Yerevan).

The objectives of the program are to:

  • Train 600 General Practitioners (GPs) and 200 nurses on the diagnosis and management of schizophrenia and major depressive disorder (MDD),
  • Train 180 non-mental health specialists on MDD, since depression is highly prevalent in people with cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes as well as in post-partum women.
  • Provide continuing medical education on MDD and related topics to 120 mental health professionals (five one-day symposia).
  • Raise awareness among the general population in order to tackle the stigma and exclusion which people with mental disorders have to face.

Training materials have been developed with the World Association of Social Psychiatry, and have been adapted by local psychiatrists. The training will be delivered in each of the six regions through face-to-face training workshops by local psychiatrists. Relevant awareness and Behaviour Change Communication materials are being developed with local mental health professionals and associations. The number of patients diagnosed and managed will be monitored through the current national referral system.

References:

  1. WHO – Depression – Factsheet – February 2017.
  2. WHO – Schizophrenia – Factsheet – April 2016.
  3. Van Baelen L et al. , Mental health problems in Armenia: low demand, high needs. Br J Gen Pract 2005 ; 55(510): 64–65.

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