n Journal of Child & Adolescent Mental Health - Child and adolescent mental health in Africa : a qualitative analysis of the perspectives of emerging mental health clinicians and researchers using an online platform

Volume 31 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1728-0583
  • E-ISSN: 1728-0591
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Objective: Using a social ecological framework, this study aimed to establish emerging mental health clinicians and researchers’ perspectives about child and adolescent mental health (CAMH) in Africa.

Method: Perspectives of 17 participants from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia, whose professional backgrounds ranged from psychiatry to speech-language therapy, were collected at an African CAMH conference. Data were gathered using open-ended questions, using an online survey. Data were analysed using theoretical thematic analysis.

Results: An adapted social ecological framework highlighted: An increased need for commitment from governments to improve CAMH in Africa; and addressing mental health stigma and discrimination through community awareness. The need for specialised CAMH facilities were identified, particularly in the public health sector. The need for multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary partnerships for advocacy, service delivery, and continuity of care were also identified. Participants emphasised the importance of CAMH awareness, and the role of governments in recognising CAMH needs and using policies to improve CAMH in Africa. Participants were hopeful about the transformation of CAMH on the continent.

Conclusion: The participants prioritised government- and community-level awareness to increase the resources and support offered by CAMH services in Africa.

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