About Us

Making recovery possible

Our inspiration. The seed for BasicNeeds US was planted when its founders, Charlotte and Richard Dougherty, visited the Kamwokya slum in Kampala, Uganda in December 2007. While there, they met Consulata Tumusime. Suffering from bipolar disorder, domestic violence, and HIV/AIDS, Consulata received help from BasicNeeds Uganda – help that transformed her life. Through BasicNeeds, Consulata was able to access the resources she needed for recovery – medications, livelihood training, micro credit, a self-help group, and regular visits from a community health worker. With visible pride, Consulata showed the Doughertys her tiny home, chickens, and millet brewing. She is now respected in her community, earns income, leads the local self-help group, and volunteers at the Kamwocya credit union helping others to get the leg up they need to transform their lives.

Our keys to success. BasicNeeds’ programs are achieving success in countries where mental illness is barely recognized as a medical concern. Several unique aspects of BasicNeeds’ approach are the key to its success. First, BasicNeeds links treatment of mental disorders to economic development, recognizing that one without the other is insufficient. Second, BasicNeeds builds on the strength of the communities it serves, investing in existing public health systems, training local health workers, and establishing self-help groups. Finally, BasicNeeds effectively leverages its resources and builds capacity through partnerships with government agencies, local NGOs, and other civil society organizations.

Our purpose. Compelled by BasicNeeds’ approach and its many success stories, we have established BasicNeeds US to enable people affected by mental disorders, particularly those in poor communities of the world, to access effective mental health services, and to live and work successfully in their own communities. We support programs that further this purpose through grant making, technical assistance, and advocacy.

Focusing on poverty and human rights
Our mission…

Linking mental health and development
Our approach…

Serving people with mental illness and epilepsy in the developing world
Our achievements…

Leading a growing movement
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Transforming lives
Our stories…

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