121101 A feeling of belonging

121101 A feeling of belonging: An example of a community mental health project in Rwanda

Since January 2007, Handicap International and its partners have been working on a project with a community mental health approach. The approach is based on the premise that the community has within itself a capacity to care. This capacity was torn apart by the genocide process and must now be re-kindled and re-mobilised. The approach has impacts on two key levels: at individual level it enables the risks of severe psychopathological decompensation to be reduced; at community level it revitalises the solidarity and self-help resources that are the foundations for social cohesion, which in turn provide sufficient protection for individuals’ mental health.

This report seeks to share the knowledge acquired when setting up and rolling out this innovative community mental health project with the Handicap International teams and partners. It is also a means of publicising, from a technical perspective, the initiatives run by Handicap International in the field of mental health and psychosocial support.