Task Sharing or Task Dumping: Counsellors Experiences of Delivering a Psychosocial Intervention for Mental Health Problems in South Africa
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Given task-sharing mental health counselling to non-specialist providers is a recognised strategy to increase service capacity, ensuring that their training, supervision, and support needs are met is necessary to facilitate the sustainable delivery of a high-quality service. Using in-depth interviews, we qualitatively explored the experiences of 18 facility-based counsellors (FBCs) tasked with delivering a counselling intervention within chronic disease services offered within primary care facilities participating in the project MIND cluster randomised controlled trial. Findings show that project MIND training with a strong emphasis on role playing and skills rehearsal improved FBCs’ confidence and competence, complemented by highly structured supervision and debriefing provided by a registered counsellor, were key strategies for supporting the implementation of task-shared mental health counselling. FBCs perceived many benefits to providing mental health counselling in primary healthcare but systemic interventions are needed for sustained implementation.
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