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The Mental Health Education Gap among Primary Care Providers in Rural Nepal.

  • Author(s): Acharya, Bibhav;
  • Hirachan, Soniya;
  • Mandel, Jeffery S;
  • van Dyke, Craig
  • et al.

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In low- and middle-income countries, the majority of individuals with mental illness go untreated largely because of a severe shortage of mental health professionals. Global initiatives to close the mental health treatment gap focus on primary care providers delivering this care. For this to be effective, primary care providers require the skills to assess, diagnose, and treat patients with mental illness.


To assess primary care providers' training and experience in caring for mental health patients, the authors conducted five focus groups at three isolated district hospitals in rural Nepal where there was no access to mental health professionals.


Primary care providers reported limited training, lack of knowledge and skills, and discomfort in delivering mental health care.


To address the mental health education gap, primary care providers in Nepal, and perhaps other low- and middle-income countries, require more training during both undergraduate and graduate medical education.

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