Conducting global mental health research: lessons learned from Kenya

Mental health disorders are prevalent among youth and adolescents in low- and middle-income countries and access to evidence-based treatments is poor. Although there is a great need for high-quality research to serve young people in low- and middle-income countries, there is limited guidance available for researchers who wish to conduct such work. Here, we describe our process of conducting school-based youth mental health work in Kenya over the last several years. We focus on five key lessons we learned that could guide future global mental health work with youth: (a) reducing stigma with strengths-focused interventions, (b) expanding access by working in schools, (c) generating buy-in from local stakeholders, (d) adapting the intervention via multicultural collaboration, and (e) applying insights from low- and middle-income countries to serve young people in high-income countries. We conclude by discussing how these lessons, and those shared by other teams, can be applied to help reduce the treatment gap for young people around the world.

Transforming mental health for all

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