Keeping Pace with Mental Health Service Delivery at the District Mental Health Units

Continuous Clinical Professional Development (CCPD) is a an initiative introduced by the Enabling Access to Mental Health Program in Sierra Leone – A EU funded project. CCPD was designed to provide ongoing capacity enhancement of service providers (mainly the District Mental Health Nurses) in a bid to increase evidence based service delivery at their respective districts.

The Building Back Project and other partners saw the effectiveness of such skill development for the District Mental Health Nurses and have maintained the practice over the years.

A two prong approach is being employed in conducting Continuous Clinical Professional Development for the Mental Health Nurses.

1. Regular Support Visits at the districts of operation

Evidence based care, networking skills, data collection and a stronger relationship with the district pharmacists was increased as a result of the supervision conducted by volunteers and collaborating partners (KSLP & WHO). A systematic monitoring process of the work of the MH Nurses, case management (Patient assessment) and lessons learnt from  CCPD workshop are been reinforced during these visits.

2. Quarterly Meetings (CCPD)

The relevance of CCPD cannot be overemphasized as over the years it has:
– Enhanced knowledge, attitude and practice for effective service delivery.
– Empowered the mental health nurses to keep up with best practices and being up to date with changing trends (more so with community mental health service provision).
– Provided a forum where difficult cases are discussed – hence helping colleague nurses learning new approaches to care.

During the BBB Project implementation period, Regular District Support visits and CCPD were held in collaboration with Kings Sierra Leone Partnership (KSLP) and an average of 18 mental health nurses had been attending – this does not include other service providers like the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurses and Community Health Officers.

Continuous Clinical Professional Development (CCPD) over the years have attracted professionals in the field of Mental Health whose technical skills have helped the mental health nurses acquire new skills in doing their work. Other major highlights of the CCPD included though not limited to:

  • Experience sharing on case management to ensure appropriate care for Clients.
  • Facilitate networking opportunities between themselves, senior MoHS management, WHO MHPSS Focal Person, local Psychiatrist, Supervisors from BBB and KSLP.
  • Reinforcing skills on basic MH principles of assessment, medication and subsequent care of patients.

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