The Healing Hands project provides interpersonal counseling, group talk therapy, psychoeducation resources and specialist referrals through artwork in Dar, Tanzania. Clients learn traditional beading as a skill during counseling sessions. The project promotes the economic growth of trained grandmothers who are implementing psychosocial interventions. Funds raised from the beaded jewelry will help sustain free & accessible mental health services, support, and resources in underserved communities.
Mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) conditions are highly prevalent and account for a large burden of disease and disability globally, but there remains a wide gap mental health treatment gap. MNS conditions interfere, in substantial ways, with the ability of children to learn and the ability of adults to function in families, at work, and in society. With nearly 1 in 10 people having an MNS condition, there are only 0.52 mental health workers per 100,000 population in Tanzania.
Healing Hands bridges the intergenerational and mental health treatment gaps by providing free and accessible evidence-based psychosocial interventions through art therapy. Grandmothers provide interpersonal and group therapy, referrals to community services, hospitals & specialists; vocational and life skills training, plus business mentorship and coaching. Clients are supported in starting a small business venture to create additional streams of income to support themselves and their families.
The project will economically empower people to achieve financial autonomy by building entrepreneurial skills and embedding skills transfer within the community - eliminating poverty as a driver of ill mental health. Healing Hands will also support the sustainable implementation of evidence-based mental health interventions and promote the economic empowerment of the grandmothers who have been trained in and are implementing WHO's mental health Gap Action Program in underserved communities.