Mental Health in Developing Countries

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Mental Health in Developing Countries

Postby cherjnrn » 10 Apr 2011, 18:54

I'm a BSN student and in my Global Health class we are studying different countries and areas of health care. One particular topic-mental health-seems to be particularly lacking in most countries. Now, obviously with unsafe drinking water and infectious diseases taking priority, there is very little federal funding in these countries that is devoted to mental health care. I think that beginning community based therapy groups are a reasonably inexpensive and effective form of mental health care that could genuinely help many people. Those seeking medical help from clinics or whatever primary care providers could be referred to the groups and could even offer advice and/or written information on how to get a group started. Perhaps these medical professionals could also lead the first group or two and then turn the group over to a volunteer or volunteers in the community. I'd really like to get any feedback or input that you are willing to offer about this proposal.
Cheryl
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Re: Mental Health in Developing Countries

Postby lori2904 » 11 Apr 2011, 05:42

I am a BSN student as well, and I agree with you about the lack of concern for mental health. In countries where drinking water is an issue, and infectious disease is the primary concern, I can see how mental health is lacking. I agree, I think it would be inexpensive, and very helpful! I think nurses are the key to getting this implemented. What do you think?
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Re: Mental Health in Developing Countries

Postby cherjnrn » 20 Apr 2011, 21:17

I think group therapy is a realistic, viable, cost-effective option. It may not be as helpful as 1:1 therapy with a Psychologist or Psychiatrist but I think it's a good starting point.
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Re: Mental Health in Developing Countries

Postby jazzp333 » 21 Apr 2011, 04:25

As we have already stated the known -- lack of potable water, sanitary living conditions, environmental stressors, inadequate healhcare, etc, this surely will put mental health care way far back in the back burners when most of these people are struggling to survive. Add to all this is still the stigma of admitting a mental health disease, though we know it is of no fault of their own.

I believe the key is through the nurses, even us, as students can help. I would tend to think that it has to start out as a community-based, volunteer driven service. I'm quite sure there would just not be enough funding through their government to hire, train, retain psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health specialists. If the nurses start a project, volunteer driven, and recruit Psychologists, psychiatrists and begin with a mental health screening process, perhaps the ball can begin to start rolling in these countries. What do you think?
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Re: Mental Health in Developing Countries

Postby paulan35 » 05 May 2011, 04:26

I am also a BSN student and did a report on this topic. In my report I discovered some interesting fact. In Uganda the goverment gave funding for mental health issues be addressed through the primary care physician. I think this may be a great start if the PCP are educated and trained to deal with these issues. This would be a good first step. With the many issues of not enought resources, it may be a more feasible idea to use the resources that are already available to address this need. It was noted that there is growing recognition of mental health as an important public health and development issue in Uganda. Mental disorders have been recognized to be not only a clinical problem but also a serious public health problem in the country, resulting in the inclusion of mental health as one of the components of the National Minimum Health Care Package.

Pauline Longkutoy
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Re: Mental Health in Developing Countries

Postby KBreitkreuz » 10 Nov 2011, 23:27

Hi All,

I'm an RN and educator who recently traveled to Central America - and toured a mental health facility. My heart broke, as it seemed the government had forgotten about these citizens... There were very few supplies, and medicine. So, even though the country was extremely impoverished, I also had to wonder were there cultural beliefs that impacted the govt. or funding decisions. There seemed to be GREAT stigma associated with mental health - somehow a belief that people had done this to themselves.

The healthcare providers there begged me for help, but actual physical supplies and such...... Does anyone know. Can anyone speak to this?
Does anyone have ideas on how to intervene in a positive and constructive way?

Dr. B.
KrB,RN
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Re: Mental Health in Developing Countries

Postby DavidS » 31 Dec 2011, 15:12

One particular topic-mental health-seems to be particularly lacking in most countries. Now, obviously with unsafe drinking water and infectious diseases taking priority, there is very little federal funding in these countries that is devoted to mental health care.


Most governments will continue to see drinkable water and infectious diseases and food too as their priority. When these are the problems faced in a country is when there can be civil unrest and possible change of governments.

I think the only way for mental health to move up the list would be from overseas help and funding.
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Re: Mental Health in Developing Countries

Postby KBreitkreuz » 04 Jan 2012, 17:16

I'm not arguing with priorities for clean water and basics for the population. I'm just very curious if there is much greater stigma in certain places.... does anyone have information on that? I'm also in agreement with the ideas presented for lower cost intervention, and there are many - so I'm curious why or if anyone knows more about that - or if the population is simply ignored because of fiscal categorization.
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Re: Mental Health in Developing Countries

Postby KBreitkreuz » 09 Jan 2012, 14:42

Thank you Dimos -

Yes that was really my question. Is Mental Illness - viewed as you see it - with Scorn and Shame.........?
I only observed care one day - but that was the impression I got. People were just completely abandoned (without any adequate care - more like a jail), although healthcare providers were trying to change that - everyone from an alcoholic to a person with schizophrenia was treated the same way. So - I was really asking for information. Here in the US we would call that a social stigma. or A problem created by the person who has the problem .... a "stigma" means they did something "shameful" to get it - or another culture views it as a cure, or sin or something. Since I only have limited experience with mental health in developing countries - I was curious if anyone had any more information, or more facts.

Dimos wrote:I think it's probably also made worse by the fact, which you allude to but don't really develop, that in large parts of the developing world mental illness is either a source of deep shame or scorn.
KrB,RN
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Re: Mental Health in Developing Countries

Postby songoma » 03 Mar 2013, 16:33

It is true that mental health in developing countries is left behind, Iam a BScN student , currently Iam taking my mental health and psychiatric nursing. What I found in clinical area in my country the mental health is not priority , there few specialist in these area .somatotherapy is predominant than other therapy like psychotherapy .
I would like to request as a nursing community we can initiate a fund to train nurses who interest in studying and working in mental health which can healp to increase health worker in this field becouse many nurses in my contry wish to specialize to work in area but lack fund to undergo their training
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