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Submitted: 11 August 2017 Modified: 15 August 2019
HERDIN Record #: PCHRD17081114264213

FAST (Fight Against Stigma): A WASP/Sanofi collaborative model for improving mental health literacy.

Daniel A. Gerard,
Adelaide Cejudo,
Driss Moussaoui

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INTRODUCTION: According to WHO about 80% of people living with a severe mental disorder in Low-and-Middle-income countries (LAMICs) do not have access to appropriate healthcare. Low literacy regarding mental disorders is one of the main barriers that prevent access to mental healthcare, which leads to stigma, socio economic exclusion, suffering of people with mental disorders and forces families to hide their relatives rather than to direct them to the community healthcare centre. To address this issue mental health, stakeholders from more than 20 countries joined forces with the World Association of Social Psychiatry and Sanofi in the FAST program, based on 3 pillars: (1) Mental health literacy, (2) health care professionals training and (3) affordable quality medicines.
OBJECTIVE: This research aimed or develop Information-Education-Communication materials to improve mental health literacy in LAMICs.
METHODOLOGY: Workshops with participants from different sectors (public, academic, associative, private) were set up to develop generic documentsbased on the experienced derived from malaria awareness programs. Then, for each country, documents were revised and adapted by a local working group.
RESULTS: A flip chart, an educational comic book, a leaflet, a poster and a brochure on schizophrenia were made available with versions adapted to the local specificities of (a) Sub - Saharan Africa (b) North Africa (c) Eastern Europe and (d) Latin America. The main message of the educational materials was that: mental disorders are like any other disease i.e. they can be treated and people with mental disorders are like any other person. The following specific topics where covered: frequency of mental disorders, symptoms recognition, cause of disease, where to seek help, stigma. Recommendations on how to use these materials were also available.
CONCLUSION: Improving mental health literacy in developing countries calls for relevant materials. A rigorous evaluation of the impact of the FAST documents is now required.

Publication Type
Publication Sub Type
The Philippine Journal of Psychiatry
Publication Date
January-June 2017
LocationLocation CodeAvailable FormatAvailability
Philippine Council for Health Research and Development Library Box no. 1 Abstract Print Format (Request Document)