Since launching in August 2018, we’ve only just begun. Brio’s
long-term goal is to partner with local leaders across all under-resourced
regions of the world to develop effective mental health solutions. Currently,
our focus is in Latin America, where we are operating in Ecuador and Mexico.
Our partnership in Ecuador, which launched in Fall 2018, focuses primarily on mental health related to substance abuse, addiction, and addiction-related behaviors. Our partners are embedded in a community organization based in one of Quito’s poorest neighborhoods, where alcoholism and drug abuse are prevalent among teenagers and adults. Not only is this tied to clinical depression and anxiety, but also unemployment and domestic violence.
While families in their community have long voiced their need for addiction counseling and support, our partners struggled to develop a systematic approach to begin to solve this problem. At the initiation of our partnership in August 2018, there was no addiction counseling textbook available in Spanish, treatment centers were unregulated, and no formal training for addiction counseling was available in the country.
Brio began by consulting with our local partner, a trained addiction counselor (certified by NAADAC), to design a pilot for training local leaders. By February 2019, our partner had trained 19 local leaders over 270 in-person hours, and those individuals are currently completing their required counseling training hours. This training is now to be scaled to a local university in a formalized program launching in September 2019. This will be the first formal addiction counseling training program in the country of Ecuador.
Meanwhile, our partnership is beginning to address addiction
prevention and awareness by partnering with local schools and the Ecuadorian
government. As Ecuadorian schools are required to offer addiction prevention,
we are developing a program that is appropriate for adolescents and effective
for schools. Additionally, the Ecuadorian military has invited our partner to
design and offer trainings for military personnel around addiction prevention
Our partnership in Mexico launched in July 2019 and focuses on trauma and burnout recovery. Brio is collaborating with local partners to design a holistic recovery and care model for victims and families of victims of human rights violations. Our first step is to verify the efficacy of the program components through rigorous testing and evaluation. Future plans include training on the model, scaling the model to multiple locations, and providing resources to communities affected by organized crime.