Second Chance Africa is a small non-profit organization with a big vision. Initially founded as a grassroots project at a refugee camp in Ghana and later relocated to Liberia, between 2008-2014 our team focused on the mission to deliver free mental health services to African communities impacted by war. Over the years, in partnership with local Ministries of Health and Justice, we assisted more than seven thousand traumatized and at-risk direct beneficiaries - children and adults, male and female, across rural and urban settings, including schools, orphanages, marginalized communities, and a prison center. We utilized several evidence-based clinical approaches and learned tremendously about what works best (and what does not) cross-culturally. We adapted existing techniques, combined them uniquely, and delivered multiple programs to address the overwhelming need for direct services in a challenging post-war environment.
Since the recent Ebola endemic in West Africa, without sufficient resources to operate, we took the opportunity to close doors to re-evaluate our mission, lessons learned, and brainstorm a new operational model to catalyse change in a larger context.
Some of the biggest challenges we observed in the field of psychosocial humanitarian relief include the shortage of qualified mental health workers; implementation of newly drafted mental health bills and policies, mental health stigma; and the lack of reliable scientific treatment studies in cross-cultural, post-emergency settings, among others. While major institutions, government and well-established non-profits are increasingly addressing the very needed challenge of capacity building, stigma reduction, and policy implementation, only a small minority engages in strengthening the evidence base for mental health interventions for trauma and related comorbid conditions to promote more efficient models in humanitarian crises. Such lack makes it significantly difficult for those in the frontline to make informed decisions in regards to treatment choice for impacted communities.
A New Vision
As of 2015, we began working to advance the field by designing innovative solutions that incorporate technology, and facilitating rigorous qualitative research to examine short-termed, scalable and effective interventions across the continent. Our new projects and research proposals, currently in early implementation stages, include developing and testing a new mHealth App, proof of concept and randomized research trials, some of which also incorporate neurophysiology, brain imaging and biofeedback for improving diagnostic accuracy and objectively measuring treatment efficacy.
We currently operate in West Africa and aim to expand to
central and east regions by 2020.
Category 1 and 2 projects
While we are eager to engage in all modalities of treatment research that show promising potential in Africa, our organisation does not endorse treatment methodologies or clinical tools (ours or existing) that do not achieve significant evidence base. We are committed to transparency and unbiased research and reporting via peer-reviewed publications.