Key facts about mental health in Africa.

Key facts about mental health in Africa. 

                                   Key facts about mental health in Africa

Demand for psychological state services is increasing in Africa, particularly among vulnerable populations like women.

• Most African governments devote less than 1 per cent of their budgets to mental health services.

• Evidence-based intervention may be a front-line method of treating mental disease in low-income countries.

Depression is that the most prevalent mental disease within the world. Currently, an estimated 100 million people in Africa suffer from depressive disorder, including 66 million women. The World Bank considers it “the greatest thief of productive economic life”, with yearly global costs from mental, neurological and substance use disorders estimated at between $2.5-8.5 trillion dollars a year. That figure is projected to just about double by the year 2030. When research shows that mental-health service provision is being neglected, particularly in developing countries, we must find out how to satisfy this growing need – particularly for females.

1. More people require psychological state services now than ever before

The Coronavirus – 19 pandemic has disrupted critical psychological state services in 93 per cent of nations at an equivalent time because the demand for psychological state programmes is increasing, consistent with a replacement WHO survey. Over 60 per cent of the 130 countries surveyed reported disruptions to psychological state services for vulnerable people, including children and adolescents, older adults and women. .

Strong Minds’ Coronavirus-19 and mental illness in Africa survey results suggest that previous exposure to psychological state services has had a bolstering effect on respondents’ ability to deal with stressors brought on by the pandemic. This supports the United Nations’ 2020 policy brief, Coronavirus -19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health, which called for an increase in global mental health services to help families during the widespread crisis and beyond.

2. Depression is a silent epidemic. The majority of African women don’t have access to psychological state services

In the communities where Strong Minds works, we see depression rates as high as twenty – twenty-five per cent within the women that we screen. For African women afflicted at twice the speed of men – depression is that the favourite explanation for disability. Most African governments spend but 1 per cent of their allocated health budget on mental disease. Due to the shortage of investment in related services, 85 per cent of individuals affected by depression on the continent haven’t any access to an efficient treatment.

The Lancet Global Health article “Mental health in Africa” notes that, regarding the weakness of the continent’s psychological state services, “there are 1.4 psychological state workers per 100,000 people, compared with a global average of nine per 100,000. The region also performs relatively poorly concerning the number of psychiatrists, the number of hospital beds for patients with mental disease, and therefore the coverage of outpatient facilities. Partly as a consequence, the proportion of Africans who receive treatment for psychological state problems is extremely low.”

3. There are proven solutions, but they aren’t widely used.

The World Health Organizational endorses group interpersonal psychotherapy as a front-line psychological state intervention for vulnerable populations. Strong Minds groups are led by a facilitator over 12 weeks to assist members to identify the basic causes and triggers of their depression and formulate strategies to beat them. Since depression is episodic and recurrent throughout most people’s lives, these newly acquired skills have both immediate and long-term preventive impacts for the sufferer. Strong Minds is that the only organization scaling this cost-effective solution to assist end the Depression epidemic in Africa.

Since starting fieldwork in 2014, we have provided group talk therapy to just about 90,000 depressed women in Uganda and Zambia. Over 80 percent of the women we treat are depression-free after therapy and remain so six months post-treatment. The results also show that for each woman treated for depression, up to four members of her family benefit. Sixteen per cent of girls report a rise in work attendance and 13% a rise in family food security; 30 percent of girls say that their children have fewer school absences.

4. Ignoring mental disease has wide-reaching impacts beyond the individual experiencing it

In Uganda and Zambia, we see how women’s impaired ability to function in day-to-day life creates profound hardship. When a lady is unable to perform her essential social responsibilities, she will become a target of criticism and exclusion. An African woman with depression, compared to her healthy peers, suffers greatly: she is a smaller amount productive, features a lower income and has poorer physical health. If she may be a mother, the negative impact extends to her entire family. Research shows that children of depressed mothers are more likely to possess poor health, struggle in or miss school, and suffer from depression themselves. Additionally, untreated depressive symptoms in children are linked to increased alcohol use and high-risk sexual behaviour; both are considered risk factors for the spread of HIV, one of the top 10 causes of death in low-income countries.

By actively partnering with local governments and NGOs, we will l still reach more women to assist them to reduce the impact of depression: Strong Minds aims to supply psychological statee services to 400,000 women across Africa by 2024.


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