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Training school teachers in Malawi about substance misuse and trauma: the need for a sustainable strategy

Evans, Nicola ORCID:, Lane, Rhiannon, Stacey-Emile, Gemma and Sefasi, Anthony 2021. Training school teachers in Malawi about substance misuse and trauma: the need for a sustainable strategy. Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice 16 (6) , pp. 480-488. 10.1108/JMHTEP-07-2020-0049

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Purpose The World Health Organisation found depression to be the fourth leading cause of disability in Malawi (Bowie, 2006) with the prevalence of mental health need in children and young people in Malawi estimated between 10 and 30% (Kutcher et al., 2019). One option to address this was to provide schoolteachers with skills and knowledge related to mental health so they can better support children. There is generally a lack of evidence of the utility or feasibility of school-based mental health literacy programmes in low to medium income countries (LMIC). This paper aims to report on a project to train schoolteachers in Malawi on aspects of mental health. Design/methodology/approach The aim of this project was to determine the acceptability and feasibility of delivering a training initiative in Malawi to teachers to better enable them to recognise and cope with school children who had been exposed to trauma and substance misuse. Findings Feedback was generated through the use of a specifically designed pre and post measure, focus groups, interviews and observations of the teaching delivery. Practical implications Teachers found the training built on their existing knowledge and they requested further opportunities for training and consultation about how to manage difficult presentations. It was evident that teachers did not know how to access mental health care or support for children whose needs could not be met by schoolteachers alone. Originality/value For a sustainable improvement for children’s mental health care in this context, further training becomes valuable when located as part of a network of joined up health and educational services.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 1755-6228
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 November 2021
Date of Acceptance: 6 August 2021
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 20:17

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