Due to the bi-directional risk between mental health and HIV, poor mental health
can increase HIV risk by 4-10 times and negatively impact treatment outcomes among those living with HIV, while HIV also increases the risk for mental health.
To address this challenge, the Clinton Health Access
Initiative (CHAI), through the Faith-Based Action for Scaling up Testing and Treatment for the Epidemic Response (FASTER) project, a collaboration by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and CHAI funded by PEPFAR through CDC, and in collaboration with the Pediatric-Adolescent Treatment Africa (PATA) and Ministry of Health (MoH) of Tanzania, developed resources to build the capacity of health care workers and peer supporters in delivering mental health services for adolescents and young mothers living with HIV.
The ‘Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing’ manual and accompanying workbook, were developed following health provider competency and client needs assessments, and delivered through mental health workshops in June and August 2021 for providers from 6 health facilities in Tanzania.
Through didactic modules and group and individual activities, guidance is provided on:
screening for anxiety, depression and elevated risk;
providing support to adolescents;
addressing adolescent challenges with treatment adherence, stigma and disclosure; and
for young mothers, addressing concerns with maternal mental health, vertical transmission and child development.
These resources can be utilized in similar settings to orient providers on adolescent mental health and wellbeing and to support improvements in service delivery.