On 2 September, community organisations and partners are coming together at the EU Civil Society Forum on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and TB to discuss challenges and interventions to improve the mental health and well-being of people living with and most affected by HIV, TB and Hepatitis.
According to research conducted by EATG, there is a very high percentage of people living with HIV reporting symptoms commonly associated with depression, as well as a high reported impact of HIV and HIV stigma in mental health. In addition, there were gaps reported regarding the awareness of services available in respondents’ home cities. More details are available in the survey report here.
We therefore call for concerted effort to increase awareness on mental health issues, to improve dialogue and coordination between mental health services/responses and other HIV services. We aim to ensure that mental health care services offer multiple and adequate options responding to different levels of demand -including self-help groups, peer support, group support, a spectrum of mental health professionals etc. We also consider that empowerment of patients in self-management of mental health issues is key and should be fostered. Finally, investment of resources in mental health responses is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of the suggested actions.
EATG will also be releasing soon a briefing paper with a set of recommendations derived from our research and community input. An embargoed draft of this paper will be shared with the Forum’s participants for discussion and their comments.
We look forward to learn from partners about good and promising interventions!
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