In keeping with our mission to improve the lives of people living with epilepsy and associated psychiatric disorders in under-resourced regions, we are happy to announce a partnership with The HAPPINESS Project.
The HAPPINESS Project (The Health Action for Psychiatric Problems in Nigeria including Epilepsy and SubstanceS) works to increase access to effective treatments for mental and neurological disorders in Nigeria. The Project provides training and clinical support in rural communities to screen for and manage these disorders. It’s a collaborative effort supported by the Yale Global Mental Health Program, local academic institutions and government agencies.
According to The HAPPINESS Project, “There are only about 200 psychiatrists and 80 neurologists for a population of 180 million, Nigeria exemplifies the severe lack of medical specialists in low and middle-income countries. An estimated 26% of adult Nigerians have a lifetime prevalence of at least one mental disorder. Untreated epilepsy, depression, anxiety, psychosis and mania result in a reduced quality of life for individuals and affected families who are routinely subjected to stigma and social isolation.” (https://medicine.yale.edu/psychiatry/happiness/research/).
ROW advisory council member, Samuel Okpaku, MD, PhD introduced us to the Project Lead, Theddeus Iheanacho, MD, at the APA conference in 2018. Now we are funding a refresher training session for a group of last year’s participants.
This is the first of what we hope will be many grants to programs that address a wide range of psychiatric disorders in under-resourced regions of the globe. The treatment gaps with these disorders are as big or bigger than with epilepsy. We want to narrow them all!