The ‘Zambia Therapeutic Art’ Course: An innovative approach to increase the psychological skills of Zambian mental health professionals
Ncheka, J. M.
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Hill, L.A., Pearce, J., Paul, R., Ncheka, J.M. and Chiluku, E. (2018) 'The ‘Zambia Therapeutic Art’ Course: An innovative approach to increase the psychological skills of Zambian mental health professionals', The Health Press, 2(2), pp. 4-7.
There is currently a skills gap in psychological approaches for mental health care in Zambia. An NGO, ‘Zambia Therapeutic Art’ (ZTA) provides an opportunity to begin to address this through its Therapeutic Art training course. A practice-based course was developed using a ‘bottom-up’ approach. This was delivered in key government mental health services and training institutions and evaluated by trainees in 2015 and 2017. Results showed skills were rapidly acquired by trainees, enabling enhanced professional- patient communications. Trainees reported that using the skills resulted in both better diagnosis and treatment and their attitude to patients. Preliminary findings suggest value in the provision of the ZTA course for mental health professionals, enhancing care and giving patients a voice. A training of trainers programme should be piloted to enable roll out of the course and its sustainability in Zambian Mental Health domains.