Mental Health Training for Primary Health Workers

MeHPriC is an acronym for Mental Health in Primary Care, which is a project developed based on the need to bridge the treatment gap for common mental disorders in Lagos State. The aim is to implement an intervention based on a collaborative stepped care model for the management of common mental disorders by non-specialist health professionals in the state.

In February 2020, the Lagos State Ministry of Health conducted an approved 5-day training for staff from the 57 flagship PHCs in Lagos State to  empower the staff with skills to provide affordable and acceptable interventions by effectively testing, treating and managing common mental disorders.

Integrating MePHric into the primary health system will also strengthen the capacity of the PHCs.

The objectives of the training are:

  1. To empower medical personnel to provide adequate mental health care services
  2. To allow for prompt diagnosis of mental health cases and institution of appropriate treatment
  3. To ensure appropriate drug management for simple and common mental health cases in the various government owned health centers
  4. To improve quality mental health care delivery by strengthening the primary healthcare systems

The training was divided into two sections. While one section targeted the Medical Professionals who will be assessing and providing treatment, the other section focused on the multidisciplinary team who work alongside the physician, and who will also come in contact with persons needing mental health intervention. This group included nurses, medical record officers, pharmacists, health educators and community health workers.

Date: February 10th – 14th, 2020.

The training for the multidisciplinary team covered the following topics:

  1. Depression in Primary Care: Identification and Management
  2. WHO’smhGAP-Intervention Guide and Collaborative Stepped Care (CSC) in the management of depression in primary care
  3. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Neuro-psychiatric emergencies

The training for the section which focused on the licensed physicians covered the following topic:

  1. Depression in Primary Care – Identification and Management
  2. Psychosis in Primary Care – Identification and Management
  3. Self-Harm/Suicidal Ideation in Primary Care – Identification and Management
  4. Substance Abusein Primary Care – Identification and Management
  5. Epilepsyin Primary Care – Identification and Management


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