Description of Innovation

Globally, an estimated 13% of all disease is attributable to mental health disorders and mental illness is projected to be the leading burden of disease by 2030. The majority (75%) of those suffering from mental illness live in low- or middle-income countries. In developing countries across the world, there is an urgent need for mental health treatment. Lack of understanding of mental illness combined with lack of available resources and solutions contribute to a treatment gap of up to 85%.

 BasicNeeds partners with over 90 organizations, ranging from farmers’ cooperatives to ministries of health, to implement a proven and scalable community-based model for mental health that has been tested in 12 countries around the world. The BasicNeeds model works with existing resources in each community to decrease stigma, mobilize providers to coordinate and deliver mental health services, and facilitate opportunities for affected people to work and earn a living. By nurturing local leadership and capacity, BasicNeeds ensures long-term sustainability of the model in each location.

BasicNeeds has provided treatment for more than 100,000 people struggling with mental illness or epilepsy, since being founding in 2000. Program data demonstrates that the BasicNeeds model significantly increases access to treatment, reduces symptoms, and increases ability to work and participate in community activities. In the next 3 years, BasicNeeds plans to scale to 20 new locations and reach 1 million people.