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Mental Health Module: by Ms Monica Kumar, Manas Foundation.

Among the high-risk groups for HIV-AIDS are men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders (TG), and hijras (MTH). The vulnerability of MTH persons to HIV is amplified by social marginalisation, discrimination, and poor access to health services. Many civil society partners lack adequate expertise or capacity to work with MTH populations. Community-based organisations (CBOs) can be effective in reaching their peers with prevention and other HIV[1]related services.

The Mental Health Module (C3) was developed to build the knowledge and skills of community volunteers, counsellors and outreach workers of NGOs and CBOs who work directly with MTH communities. It was designed to help training participants: 1) become familiar with basic concepts of counselling; 2) develop skills to form a support relationship with a programme client within an ethical framework; 3) increase awareness of common mental health concerns among men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders and hijras; 4) build capacity to assess and provide basic psycho-social support; and 5) promote positive mental health.