In order to make mental health services more accessible, the Tunisian Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the School of Public Health at the University of Montreal, the World Health Organization office in Tunisia and the Montreal World Health Organization-Pan American Health Organization Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Mental Health, implemented a training programme based on the Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) Intervention Guide (IG) (version 1.0), developed by the World Health Organization. This article describes the phase prior to the implementation of the training, which was offered to general practitioners working in primary care settings in the Greater Tunis area of Tunisia.
The phase prior to implementation consisted of adapting the standard mhGAP-IG (version 1.0) to the local primary healthcare context. This adaptation process, an essential step before piloting the training, involved discussions with stakeholder groups, as well as field observations.
Through the adaptation process, we were able to make changes to the standard training format and material. In addition, the process helped uncover systemic barriers to effective mental health care.
Targeting these barriers in addition to implementing a training programme may help reduce the mental health treatment gap, and promote implementation that is successful and sustainable.