The Training on Building Capacity for Integrated, Comprehensive HIV and Mental Health Services was organized in Can Tho City. Representatives from EpiC Vietnam/FHI 360, CDC Can Tho, the social enterprise Lighthouse, and community organizations in the Southern region participated in this event.

This event marks the first experiential learning activity of the Community of Practice (CoP) program, an initiative developed through collaboration between EpiC Vietnam/FHI 360 and the social enterprise Lighthouse. The goal is to enhance the capacity of community-based organizations to integrate mental health support into existing HIV services within an equitable learning space.

Under the guidance of clinical psychologist Dr. Dang Khanh An, co-founder of Touching Soul Center and consultant at TestSGN Clinic, clinical psychologists from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy participated in activities related to mental health understanding and identifying staffing requirements for integrated services. They also discussed ethical considerations, emphasizing the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in providing comprehensive care.

In addition to specialized knowledge, the training provided an opportunity for organizations to receive guidance and consultation on comprehensive service integration models. It also facilitated the creation of a community network for sharing experiences and mutual support. This groundwork is essential for effectively implementing integrated HIV and mental health service models in the future.

With the achievements gained, the Training on Building Capacity for Integrated, Comprehensive HIV and Mental Health Services in Can Tho City represents a significant step forward in collective efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and improve mental well-being within the community. Hopefully, the knowledge and experiences acquired by community organizations during this training will contribute to positive changes, aiming for a future where every individual can access and benefit from high-quality healthcare services, including both HIV care and mental health support.7

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