Title

Reframing Mental Health Perceptions: Need for Mental Health Education in Kenya

Conference Strand

Social Change, Leadership, and Advocacy

Abstract

This qualitative research presentation aims to explain the need for mental health education in rural Kenya using in-depth narratives of 20 orphaned or vulnerable Kenyan youth. Through this session participants will be able to understand the relevance and prevalence of mental health concerns and the causal factors that hinder the effectiveness of existing mental health services. Lastly, through this session the authors aim to explain the impact of mental health education in changing the negative perceptions of mental health issues.

Description

Despite the higher prevalence of mental health problems in rural Kenya, the negative stigma associated with mental health continues to persist ( Puffer, et. al, 2012; Lee, et. al. 2016; Endetei, et. al, 2017). Musiyimi (2017), reported people in the rural Kenya continue to resist mental health services by internalizing and minimising the impact. The purpose of this paper presentation is to unmask the need for mental health education and its impact on at-risk youth resistance towards mental health services. Through this presentation, the authors aim to explain the significance of mental health education in rural Kenya. Further, the session explains the importance of incorporating indigenous practices and its effectiveness in promoting mental health education. Lastly, the session will address strategies and recommendations for academic professionals, counselors and other mental health professionals.

Evidence

Musyimi, C. W., Mutiso, V. N., Ndetei, D. M., Unanue, I., Desai, D., Patel, S. G., … Bunders, J. (2017). Mental health treatment in Kenya: task-sharing challenges and opportunities among informal health providers. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 11(1). doi:10.1186/s13033-017-0152-4

Lee, V. C., Muriithi, P., Gilbert-Nandra, U., Kim, A. A., Schmitz, M. E., Odek, J., … Galbraith, J. S. (2014). Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Kenya. JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 66, S89-S97. doi:10.1097/qai.0000000000000117

Puffer, E. S., Drabkin, A. S., Stashko, A. L., Broverman, S. A., Ogwang-Odhiambo, R. A., & Sikkema, K. J. (2012). Orphan Status, HIV Risk Behavior, and Mental Health Among Adolescents in Rural Kenya. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 37(8), 868-878. doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jss077

Atwoli, L., Ayuku, D., Hogan, J., Koech, J., Vreeman, R. C., Ayaya, S., & Braitstein, P. (2014). Impact of Domestic Care Environment on Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder among Orphans in Western Kenya. PLoS ONE, 9(3), e89937. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089937

Format

Individual Presentations

Biographical Sketch

Aishwarya Joshi,

Aishwarya Joshi has obtained her Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Forensic Psychology from Tiffin University. She is currently a Master of Arts candidate for the Clinical Counseling program at Heidelberg University and obtained her IOMD (International Officer for Multiculturalism and Diversity) title at Huruma Rescue Mission, Embu, Kenya. Her research interests includes global mental health education, collectivism and post traumatic growth, impostor syndrome, trauma informed care in ethnic minorities and the LGBT communities as well as the under-representation of women of ethnic minorities in STEM fields. Aishwarya Joshi has a Bachelors of Arts degree with majors in Psychology, Journalism and English literature from Garden City College, Bengaluru, India.

Yuichi Sasakawa

Yuichi Sasakawa is an international student from Japan, in his third year studying master’s level counseling at Heidelberg University. Yuichi graduated from Senshu University with an undergraduate degree in law. He is currently studying clinical mental health counseling, with plans to continue on to doctoral studies,and continuing to seek reform and expansion of the therapeutic resources and the counseling profession in Japan. His current research interests focus on stress-related disorders (particularly PTSD and related issues), and how language expression is modified under stress for second language learners. He is interested in learning about the correlation between language expression, mind, thoughts and feelings.

Location

PARB 128

Start Date

2-8-2019 4:00 PM

End Date

2-8-2019 5:15 PM

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Feb 8th, 4:00 PM Feb 8th, 5:15 PM

Reframing Mental Health Perceptions: Need for Mental Health Education in Kenya

PARB 128

This qualitative research presentation aims to explain the need for mental health education in rural Kenya using in-depth narratives of 20 orphaned or vulnerable Kenyan youth. Through this session participants will be able to understand the relevance and prevalence of mental health concerns and the causal factors that hinder the effectiveness of existing mental health services. Lastly, through this session the authors aim to explain the impact of mental health education in changing the negative perceptions of mental health issues.