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Capacity Building in the Mental Health Sector – Myth or Reality?

Like a parent leaving a child is how one senior mental health professional expressed his sadness of the end of VSO’s (Volunteers Overseas Services, Sri Lanka) Mental Health Programme in Sri Lanka. Today is 28 February 2013, and the room I am sitting in is full with mental health policymakers, professionals, service users, and us, a group of volunteers. We are at the impressive Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo to celebrate the work of VSO and their partners but the air is tinged with sadness. It is the end of an era. In fact, it is the end of VSO’s 15 years focus on the Sri Lankan mental health sector