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

Since 2013, Sanofi has partnered with the Ministry of Health of Morocco, the Moroccan Association of Social Psychiatry and the Moroccan League Against Epilepsy to improve the management of people with mental disorders and epilepsy in Morocco. Fight against STigma (FAST) Morocco (also known locally as “Nadar Akhar” – meaning “a different perspective”) focuses on schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, child and adolescent psychiatric disorders, addictions and epilepsy. This national program was first implemented in the Casablanca area, then in the East and South regions, which were both determined to be priority areas in terms of needs, and finally in the remainder of the Kingdom. 

This national program is based on the lessons learned from a pilot project focused on schizophrenia and conducted in the Benslimane area between October 2008 and October 2011. The objectives of this program are to develop community-based mental health care services accessible to the largest number of people, and to fight, within the community, the STigma related to mental disorders and epilepsy. 

Developing community-based mental health care services include the following activities:

  1. developing a mental health and epilepsy network with groups of 6-7 General Practitioners (GPs) and 6-7 nurses who consult with one psychiatrist and one neurologist. Each group of primary healthcare professionals covers an area including 800,000 people on average.
  2. training GPs and nurses to diagnose and manage people with schizophrenia, mood disorders (major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders, addictions and child and adolescent psychiatry disorders and epilepsy.

Raising awareness about mental disorders and epilepsy and fighting stigma include the following activities:

  1. capacity-building of patient associations and training for advocacy and lobbying.
  2. developing and disseminating Behavior Change Communications materi­als to the general public.
  3. creating awareness raising campaigns in the national media.

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