Home > The SAMENTACOM Project

According to the WHO¹, mental and neurological troubles represent 14% of the global health burden, affecting all age groups and all social levels².

Ivorian populations have been psychologicaly and socialy impacted by the several crises since 2002. Mental healthcare offer an access are limited : 2 public psychiatric hospitals and approximately 30 psychatrists for more than 26 millions inhabitants.

Studies showed that psychiatric hospitalisation represent a important financial burden for the socity, because of direct and undirect costs (patient and helpers trip, accomodation…). Thus, families frequently surrender to this cares.

The lack of primary healthcare centers (= first recourse, close to the patient living place), is filled by the quick development of unconventionnal centers such as prayer camps and other traditionnal healhcare centers³.

Moreover, the sociocultural representations of mental health disorders and epilepsy make an appropriate managment more difficult. Because they are stigmatized and even if they are stabilised, patients hardly re-establishe themselves in the community.

One-time healthcare activites in numerous localitises highlighted the major benefit of an inside-community intervention in improving healthcare and combating abuse and violence against patients. Patient social behaviour normalization, and family involvment, facilitate his full inclusion. This is an oppurtunity to change the way community looks at mental health.

The projet

In 2018, after several years of on-the-ground work with local populations, our multidisciplinary team create the SAMENTACOM project. Today, it moves forward thanks to the Health and Public Hygiene Ministry (MSHP) and the Mindful-Change-Foundation (MCF).

The vision :

Promoting mental health for everyone, the closest to his community.

To this end, the project rely on the expertise of the WHO mhGAP action programme², and on treatment protocols developped by the SMAO

Its main missions are :

  • Rising of awareness of populations concerning mental health challenges.
  • Local workers training
    • Healthcare professionals to the reception and the common treatments of patients.
    • Community social workers to identify and support patients and their familiy.
  • Mecial supervision by the psychiatrists’ team.
  • Research in community mental health, by conducting practices improvment studies.

Today, hundreds of patients have access to a better monitoring of their mental health thanks to the SAMENTACOM project.

¹WHO : World Health Organization
SMAO : Santé Mentale en Afrique de l’Ouest