ALAS strives to achieve its purpose and vision through five key lines of actions
1. Access to treatment
ALAS psychiatrist and psychologists provide direct clinical attention to the poorest patients by visiting them directly in their home and in an out-patient-clinic fashion. ALAS facilitator constantly monitors psychoactive drugs intake and educate family members about mental health disorders, adherence, basic care and human rights.
Moreover, we provide medication for free or at cost through cooperation agreements withlocal pharmacies and donations.
2. Fight Against Stigma
In ALAS we know stigma is our number one obstacle, undermining the opportunities of our patients and their families as well as causing aggressive behaviors towards people suffering from mental illnesses. Stigmatization is perpetrated across virtually every level of the society, ranging from health providers to family and community members.
ALAS strives to reduce stigma by spreading information to the population. We do so by organizing workshops, events, conferences, and through an increasing presence in social media. Our goal is for the population to stop marginalizing people suffering from mental diseases.
ALAS organizes lectures, training programs and workshops with specialized mental health professionals, directed towards all kinds of health providers and even educators. To date, ALAS has been able to train nurses, social work students, and psychologists in "basic mental health care".
The overarching purpose (and ALAS´ core goal) is to train every primary care physician in diagnosing and treating basic mental illness such as depression, anxiety or psychosis using the mhGAP instrument for patients to receive a proper assessment and treatment within their communities (and in their own language) by a primary care professionals.
4. Rehabilitation & Empowerment
From the beginning onward, ALAS works together with its patients and their families to push them to take initiative, re-introducing them as an active member of the society and improving their quality of life. Empowering our patients is also an excellent way for them to overcome their daily struggle and to gain independence through knowledge of their human rights and the nature of their disease.
A group of patients and families have been getting together under ALAS wings to create an independent association that enables them to lobby and demand their rights to authorities.
Moreover, in order to ensure equality and respect of human rights, all of ALAS’s operations abide by 4 key principles
Equitable access to poor people
Every person with a mental disorder helped by ALAS must have an equitable access to health care regardless of the race, gender, age, or sexual orientation
Mental health strategies, actions and interventions for treatment, prevention and promotion must be compatible with Human Rights international conventions
To achieve the goals of Mental Health, an integral and coordinated approach with families, work, education and rehabilitation must be applied
Empowerment of people with mental disorders
People with mental disorders must be empowered to agglutinate and participate in the national Mental Health politics, actions and legislations