How a Simple Tool Could Support Millions in Need

Millions of children living with mental health problems - brought about by exposure to violence and armed conflict - currently receive no treatment for their condition. They can’t access potentially life-saving mental healthcare services - which means innovative and low-cost solutions are urgently required.

To address these needs we worked in 2018 to develop a new innovation - the Community Case Detection Tool. The tool could provide a low-cost solution to the mental healthcare needs of millions of children worldwide - and it’s all based on a chart on a single page.

The page contains an illustrated narrative about a child experiencing mental distress. Each narrative is based on specific cultural idioms of distress to allow for a simple diagnosis - and can be adapted to the specific context in which it is used. This simple, innovative format is inexpensive - and allows for wide scale distribution.

Trusted community members can be trained to use the tool to identify children in need of support. No professional health background is required - meaning that local mental healthcare can be put into practice at speed.

The Community Case Detection Tool is simple, low-cost and backed by evidence - and has the potential to meet the needs of millions of children worldwide.