The Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) program was developed by NBCC International in collaboration with the Department of Mental Health and of Substance Abuse of the World Health Organization (WHO) with the objective of providing a solution to the salient imbalance between the need for mental health care and the existing resources. The MHF curriculum is based on core competencies for mental health service providers that were identified through an international survey of mental health experts.
In Portugal, the MHF program was translated and adapted to cultural standards with the purpose to maximize access to basic mental health care in local communities by educating and training professionals and other community agents in the basics of mental health.
The intent is not to create a new mental health profession, but rather to provide individuals with the tools and skills necessary to identify mental health needs, make referrals, and work with and support those in need of mental health care. Mental Health Facilitators are not a new professional group; they retain their professional identity and augment their work with MHF skills, complementing existing care resources. Depending on the need, MHF registrants may be initial helpers of choice, serve as referral sources for professional mental health services, or both.
Implemented in 25 countries, the MHF program is offered in Portugal by EBCC.
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