Following the tsunami on December 26, 2004, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) asked the Health Services Program (HSP) to initiate program activities in Aceh, Indonesia. This evaluation is of a community mental health program for women and children in Aceh. The main objectives of the Aceh women and children protection program were to: (i) strengthen existing community structures to address the psychosocial needs of women and children; and (ii) build capacity of sub-district health center (Puskesmas) staff to recognize mental health and exploitation problems among women seeking primary health services, and provide appropriate services and referrals. The evaluation found that HSP achieved positive program outcomes—especially in the promotion of a highly effective mental health system—as well as in the area of psychosocial protection in communities. Advocacy is required to raise the profile of mental health within the Ministry of Health (MOH) and to ensure the mental health programs continue in Aceh. It is also recommended that it be replicated in other parts of Indonesia, where mental health care is reported to be underdeveloped.
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