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BMJ Open ; 12(2): e054163, 2022 Feb 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673436

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Poor adolescent mental health is a barrier to achieving several sustainable development goals in Tanzania, where adolescent mental health infrastructure is weak. This is compounded by a lack of community and policy maker awareness or understanding of its burden, causes and solutions. Research addressing these knowledge gaps is urgently needed. However, capacity for adolescent mental health research in Tanzania remains limited. The existence of a National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), with a nationwide mandate for research conduct and oversight, presents an opportunity to catalyse activity in this neglected area. Rigorous research priority setting, which includes key stakeholders, can promote efficient use of limited resources and improve both quality and uptake of research by ensuring that it meets the needs of target populations and policy makers. We present a protocol for such a research priority setting study and how it informs the design of an interinstitutional adolescent mental health research capacity strengthening strategy in Tanzania. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: From May 2021, this 6 month mixed-methods study will adapt and merge the James Lind Alliance approach and validated capacity strengthening methodologies to identify priorities for research and research capacity strengthening in adolescent mental health in Tanzania. Specifically, it will use online questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, focus groups, scoping reviews and a consensus meeting to consult expert and adolescent stakeholders. Key evidence-informed priorities will be collaboratively ranked and documented and an integrated strategy to address capacity gaps will be designed to align with the nationwide infrastructure and overall strategy of NIMR. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: National and institutional review board approvals were sought and granted from the National Health Research Ethics Committee of the NIMR Medical Research Coordinating Committee (Tanzania) and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (United Kingdom). Results will be disseminated through a national workshop involving all stakeholders, through ongoing collaborations and published commentaries, reviews, policy briefs, webinars and social media.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research , Mental Health , Academies and Institutes , Adolescent , Ethics Committees, Research , Humans , Tanzania
2.
JMIR Ment Health ; 8(5): e25528, 2021 May 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249615

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Initial training is essential for the mental health peer support worker (PSW) role. Training needs to incorporate recent advances in digital peer support and the increase of peer support work roles internationally. There is a lack of evidence on training topics that are important for initial peer support work training and on which training topics can be provided on the internet. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to establish consensus levels about the content of initial training for mental health PSWs and the extent to which each identified topic can be delivered over the internet. METHODS: A systematized review was conducted to identify a preliminary list of training topics from existing training manuals. Three rounds of Delphi consultation were then conducted to establish the importance and web-based deliverability of each topic. In round 1, participants were asked to rate the training topics for importance, and the topic list was refined. In rounds 2 and 3, participants were asked to rate each topic for importance and the extent to which they could be delivered over the internet. RESULTS: The systematized review identified 32 training manuals from 14 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These were synthesized to develop a preliminary list of 18 topics. The Delphi consultation involved 110 participants (49 PSWs, 36 managers, and 25 researchers) from 21 countries (14 high-income, 5 middle-income, and 2 low-income countries). After the Delphi consultation (round 1: n=110; round 2: n=89; and round 3: n=82), 20 training topics (18 universal and 2 context-specific) were identified. There was a strong consensus about the importance of five topics: lived experience as an asset, ethics, PSW well-being, and PSW role focus on recovery and communication, with a moderate consensus for all other topics apart from the knowledge of mental health. There was no clear pattern of differences among PSW, manager, and researcher ratings of importance or between responses from participants in countries with different resource levels. All training topics were identified with a strong consensus as being deliverable through blended web-based and face-to-face training (rating 1) or fully deliverable on the internet with moderation (rating 2), with none identified as only deliverable through face-to-face teaching (rating 0) or deliverable fully on the web as a stand-alone course without moderation (rating 3). CONCLUSIONS: The 20 training topics identified can be recommended for inclusion in the curriculum of initial training programs for PSWs. Further research on web-based delivery of initial training is needed to understand the role of web-based moderation and whether web-based training better prepares recipients to deliver web-based peer support.

3.
Global Health ; 16(1): 90, 2020 09 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-795506

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A recent editorial urged those working in global mental health to "change the conversation" on coronavirus disease (Covid-19) by putting more focus on the needs of people with severe mental health conditions. UPSIDES (Using Peer Support In Developing Empowering mental health Services) is a six-country consortium carrying out implementation research on peer support for people with severe mental health conditions in high- (Germany, Israel), lower middle- (India) and low-income (Tanzania, Uganda) settings. This commentary briefly outlines some of the key challenges faced by UPSIDES sites in low- and middle-income countries as a result of Covid-19, sharing early lessons that may also apply to other services seeking to address the needs of people with severe mental health conditions in similar contexts. CHALLENGES AND LESSONS LEARNED: The key take-away from experiences in India, Tanzania and Uganda is that inequalities in terms of access to mobile technologies, as well as to secure employment and benefits, put peer support workers in particularly vulnerable situations precisely when they and their peers are also at their most isolated. Establishing more resilient peer support services requires attention to the already precarious situation of people with severe mental health conditions in low-resource settings, even before a crisis like Covid-19 occurs. While it is essential to maintain contact with peer support workers and peers to whatever extent is possible remotely, alternatives to face-to-face delivery of psychosocial interventions are not always straightforward to implement and can make it more difficult to observe individuals' reactions, talk about emotional issues and offer appropriate support. CONCLUSIONS: In environments where mental health care was already heavily medicalized and mostly limited to medications issued by psychiatric institutions, Covid-19 threatens burgeoning efforts to pursue a more holistic and person-centered model of care for people with severe mental health conditions. As countries emerge from lockdown, those working in global mental health will need to redouble their efforts not only to make up for lost time and help individuals cope with the added stressors of Covid-19 in their communities, but also to regain lost ground in mental health care reform and in broader conversations about mental health in low-resource settings.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Developing Countries , Mental Health , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Germany , Humans , India , SARS-CoV-2 , Tanzania , Uganda
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