Preliminary Findings on Mental Health Treatments in Sub-Saharan African Children: A Meta-Analytic Review
Faculty Sponsor, if applicable
Access to quality mental health care ought to be a human right, yet research shows that many African countries suffer from a dearth in mental health service despite being disproportionately exposed to the ravages of poverty, war, and other atrocities. For some countries, such as Malawi, less than 1% of the total health budget is spent on mental health. A population of over 16 million is served by only one qualified psychiatrist and two clinical psychologists: approximately 5 million people per psychologist (World Health Organization, 2011). Compare these numbers to those of the United States, which has approximately 106,500 licensed psychologists: less than 3,000 people per psychologist (American Psychological Association, 2017). Key neural and physical development takes place during childhood and adolescence, therefore any stress and trauma experienced during these sensitive periods negatively impacts the neural, physical, and emotional development of children. The associated numerous negative outcomes are barriers to education and ultimately economic development. We seek to synthesize research on the treatment of mental health problems among African children who have been exposed to traumatic experiences or vulnerable situations. This presentation explores the question: Which types of interventions are most effective and/or most common?
Type of Research
Doctoral-Undergraduate Opportunity for Scholarship (DUOS)