ECMHTE –

Home / / ECMHTE –

The Ethiopian Community Mental Health Training and Education (ECMHTE) Project is a joint effort put forth by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and the African Communities Public Health Coalition, to address the unmet mental health needs of the Los Angeles Ethiopian population in a manner that is culturally acceptable to that community. Many Ethiopian families express concern over a lack of understanding of mental illness, and of how the Los Angeles County mental health system operates. In fact, it is common practice for Ethiopian families to send their mentally ill loved-ones to Ethiopia to seek alternative treatment, and to avoid the shame and stigma associated with mental illness. This 9-month project will provide training to trusted and selected volunteer community members, in order for them to become ‘lay-experts’ on mental health issues, crisis intervention, and appropriate mental health resources. The Los Angeles Ethiopian community endorses such training and considers it to be an effective practice. Considering the long history of using volunteer community members as ‘lay-experts’ and cultural brokers in health and social services, this project is expected to be of great benefit to the Ethiopian community at large. Goals of the ECMHTE Project: a) increase the Ethiopian community’s knowledge about mental health, mental illness and the mental health services available to them, b) reduce the social stigma of mental illness and,  c) increase access to appropriate mental health services for people of Ethiopian descent, especially during a mental health crisis