HealthNet TPO is implementing mental health care for the Afghan population since 2002. A first programme started in Nangarhar province by training local health staff in basic psychiatry and has been expanded to 10 other provinces of Afghanistan in the meantime. Until 2010, HealthNet TPO mainly provided mental health services in public health centres (district level), but meanwhile a pilot project has been initiated for the provision of mental health care at a regional and provincial hospital level. The aim is to strengthen and intensify support for mental health services on the primary health care level, in six provinces (Nangarhar, Daikundi, Logar, Kunar, Laghman and Uruzgan).
The mental health programme in Afghanistan currently focuses on the integration of mental health components within the health care system, through both the Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) and Essential Package of Hospital Services (EPHS). In close collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), HealthNet TPO drafted mental health training materials (reviewed by a committee, including WHO, EMRO, expert NGOs, expert psychiatrists from neighbouring countries and other qualified and experienced psychiatrists) for doctors working in the Essential Package of Hospital Services (EPHS). These materials have been tested and approved, and will be used as the basis for the development of a national curriculum.