Health Equity Initiatives (HEI) undertakes its community based health interventions with refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia.

Refugees’ and asylum seekers’ lives are extremely challenging and their need for medical and mental health services is significant. HEI believes in facilitating an empowering approach to health with the communities the organization works with. A spirit of partnership informs HEI’s work, as community members are involved from project design through to implementation and monitoring.

Volunteer Community Health Worker Training

To build community capacity, HEI trains volunteer Community Health Workers (CHWs) in a number of areas, including health (particularly mental health), human rights, forced labor, and human trafficking.

HEI’s training program, which was developed by health professionals, aims to build volunteer CHWs’ knowledge on key mental health concepts and develop their practical skills.

Once a volunteer CHW has completed their training, they are able to:

  • Undertake community outreach visits and psycho-education in their respective communities
  • Conduct mental health screenings
  • Make referrals
  • Implement simple supportive health interventions
  • Provide interpretation services for patients during health appointments

These activities are used strategically for early detection and intervention in order to prevent mental health morbidity as well as to improve access to appropriate health care services.

The Community Based Mental Health program involves CHW Training as well as Community Outreach.