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Lauren Ng, PhD MGH Global Psychiatry Division Carmel Salhi, ScD Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience, Boston Children’s Hospital.

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Presentation on theme: "Lauren Ng, PhD MGH Global Psychiatry Division Carmel Salhi, ScD Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience, Boston Children’s Hospital."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lauren Ng, PhD MGH Global Psychiatry Division Carmel Salhi, ScD Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience, Boston Children’s Hospital

2  Background  State of mental health care globally  Recent policy proposal  Socioeconomic status, stress and mental health  BREAK  Issues in cross-cultural mental health  Global mental health research  Cross-cultural care and adaptation  Case-study: Comorbid mental health & refugee resettlement

3  Physical, mental and social well-being  Mental illness = medical conditions that impair thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning  Mental health and physical health directly impact each other (bidirectional)  In most of the world mental health is ignored or neglected

4  High Prevalence  World Mental Health Survey (2011) estimated lifetime prevalence of any mental health disorder from 47% in USA to 12% in Nigeria  Assumes valid cross-cultural comparison  Young people impacted  10%-25% of people  ~ 1 in 4 families has at least one member with a mental disorder  ~ 1 in 4 patients seeking care for a physical health problem has a diagnosable mental disorder  No group is immune  Risk is higher for vulnerable populations (ex: poor, victims of violence, indigenous populations, etc.) (Collins et al., 2011; Bloom et al., 2011; (Patel, Flisher, Hetrick, & McGorry, 2007) )

5  WHO just released the first report on suicide around the world  Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative  Every 40 seconds someone dies by suicide  Globally, suicide is the 2 nd leading cause of death for people between  Many more people who attempt suicide than complete  Probably extremely underreported, and many countries have no vital records registration

6 <5 5 – – 14.9 >15 No data N/A (WHO, 2014) All over the world, but variation

7  DALYs = Years lost to disability or early death  Mental, neurological, and substance-use disorders constitute 13% of the global burden of disease  Dramatic negative impact on productivity and quality of life.  Depression is the 3 rd leading contributor to the global disease burden  Mental health conditions are the leading non- communicable disease (NCD) cause of DALYs worldwide  Account for 37% of healthy life years lost from NCDs (Collins, et al., 2011; WHO, 2005; Bloom et al., 2011)

8 DALYs lost to NCDs Together, mental health and cardiovascular disease account for almost 70% of lost output to NCDs (Bloom et al., 2011)

9 All Neuropsychiatric DisordersDALYs (millions) % mental health DALYs All neuropsychiatric disorders199 Depression6533 Alcohol use disorders2412 Schizophrenia178 Bipolar disorder147 Alzheimer and other dementias116 Epilepsy84 Drug use disorders84 Top 4 disorders account for over 60% of the mental health DALYs in the world

10 All Neuropsychiatric Disorders% of DALYs Depression85 Alcohol use disorders82 Schizophrenia90 Bipolar disorder90 Alzheimer and other dementias61 Epilepsy92 Drug use disorders77 (Collins et al., 2007) ~82% of the world’s populations lives in LMICs

11  Mental disorders can be managed with psychosocial intervention and/or medication  Only a small minority of patients receives even the most basic treatment.  In HICs 44% - 70% of patients with mental illnesses do not receive treatment  In LMICs, the treatment gap is closer to 90% (Collins et al., 2011; WHO, 2003)

12 (WHO, 2003)  Mental health is very underfunding throughout the world  High income countries (HICs) devote ~7% of the health budget to mental health  The majority of LMICs devote less than 1% of the health budget to mental health  Great majority of the mental health budget goes to inpatient neuropsychiatric hospitals rather than primary or community care

13 % ANY PresenceLowHigh Community Care5297 Any mental health care in primary care7697 Severe mental illness care in primary care 5587 Median # psychiatric beds per 10,000< 18 (WHO, 2005)

14 Per 100,000Low / Low Mid High- Mid High Psychiatrists< 1311 Psychiatric Nurses< 1533 Neurologists< 113 Neurosurgeons< 111 Psychologists< 1214 Mental Health Social Workers< 1216 (WHO, 2005) More mental health professionals at HMS than in many (if not most) low-income countries

15  When care is available, cost is often out of pocket, even when families have insurance  Mental disorders are often not covered at the same level as other disorders  This creates significant economic difficulties for patients and families

16  To strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health  80% of countries will have developed or updated their policies/plans for mental health  50% of countries will have developed or updated their laws for mental health  To provide comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health and social care services in community-based settings  Service coverage for severe mental disorders will have increased by 20%

17  To implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental health  80% of countries will have at least two functioning national, multisectoral promotion and prevention programmes in mental health  The rate of suicide in countries will be reduced by 10%  To strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health  80% of countries will be routinely collecting and reporting at least a core set of mental health indicators every two years through their national health and social information systems

18  Apart from causing suffering, mental illness is closely associated with:  Socioeconomic status, notably poverty and gender disadvantage  Poor physical health, including having HIV/ AIDS and poor maternal and child health  Mental disorders impoverish people because of both increased costs of health care and lost employment opportunities

19  Mental illness is associated with low income and poverty  Unemployment is a critical link  Poverty and unemployment increase with severity of the disorder  Both unemployment and mental illness come at a social and economic cost

20  80% of the global burden of disease due to mental health disorders is found in LAMIC  Mental disorders are associated with unemployment rates between 70-90%  Depression is 1.5 to 2 times more prevalent among low- income groups of a population Mental Disorders Poverty Unemployment Low Income Less Education

21  Mental illness sufferers often face stigma, constituting an immense barrier to treatment and access to services  Family members are often the primary caregivers of people with mental disorders and can be their supports as well as barriers  However, the extent of the burden of mental disorders on family members is difficult to assess and quantify and often ignored  Those suffering from mental illnesses are also victims of human rights violations and discrimination  This may occur both inside and outside psychiatric institutions


23  Types of stressors  War and ongoing political conflict  Overcrowding and environmental exposures  Community-level adversity  Acute stress  Sudden, typically short-lived or defined end, threatening event (e.g., robbery, giving a speech)  Chronic stress  Ongoing, continuously demanding (e.g., discrimination by law enforcement, economic blockade, sanctions)

24  Stressors often happen at the community-level and are multi-faceted  Systems of cooperation and mutual dependence: broken social networks  Interpersonal relationships  Anxious attachment to caregivers  Solidarity with family/kin  Disrupted social identities  Environmental effects  Neuro-developmental effects  Trans-generational transmission of trauma

25  Simple PTSD  Single Trauma  Complex PTSD exposure  Multiple Trauma  Traumatised Under age of 14 / 26  Developmental stage important  Complex PTSD symptoms  loss of sense of safety, trust, & coherent sense of self  pervasive insecurity  often disorganized-type attachment  But complex PTSD has not been generally accepted  Not enough evidence for a new diagnosis (Resick et al., 2012)  Serves to highlight general shortcomings of PTSD


27  Culture includes:  Belief systems  Value orientations  Religious practices  Medical practices  Organization of society  Structure of families  Legal systems  Economic resources  Culture can affect:  Which behaviors are considered to be illness  Theories of etiology (causation)  Ideas of appropriate treatment and healers  How people seek help and receive care

28  Across cultures, similar types of mental illnesses (e.g., schizophrenia), with similar symptoms (e.g., cognitive defects, asocial behaviors) are often observed  Interpretation of symptoms may differ markedly  Meaning of symptoms  Source of symptoms  Duration of symptoms  Curability  Certain aspects of psychiatric illness are socially constructed  Homosexuality as a disease in DSM-I, DSM-II and DSM-III  Medicalization of grief  Psychotic delusions, hallucinations can incorporate cultural elements which differ between societies

29  Almost all data on mental health (particularly interventions) comes from high-income countries  10–90% divide in research  Presentation, attribution, classification, prevalence, and prognosis of mental disorders varies greatly between cultures.  Cross-cultural work is under-represented in the mainstream psychiatric literature  Of 183 published studies on the mental health of refugees, four fifths relied exclusively on measures of psychopathology developed with Western populations. (Kieling et al., 2011; Summerfield, 2008)

30  Design of studies may not account for marginalized groups  Mental illness among non-respondents tends to be higher in marginalized communities  Not capturing idiomatic expressions or local forms of distress limits representativeness outside of norm  Masculine depression  The value of protective sociodemographic characteristics varies between cultures  Family structure  Coping strategies and their meaning are important to understand  Religiosity

31  Etic model  Similar instruments used in each culture  Assumes no bias  Differences between groups mean construct differences in each culture  For example, give identical tests in each culture, differences in test scores indicate differences between the cultures on the construct  Emic model  Use different instruments for each culture, see if they measure same thing  Measures a wider range of behaviors that are perhaps more appropriate for each culture  Harder to identify bias  Measurement equivalence uncertain

32  How might these lessons be carried over to mental health care?  Cultural competence: The level of a provider’s knowledge, attitude, and skills about cultural values  Cross-cultural efficacy: Providers learn how their own culture and behaviors can impact others of different cultures  Cultural humility: Provider engages in regular self-evaluation and self-critique  The models share the ultimate goal of preparing providers to manage sociocultural issues that emerge  For example, in preparing to work with translators and interpreters  Cultural competence has lacked a set of guiding principles with clear operationalization

33  Can psychiatric approaches developed in HICs be effective in lower resource contexts with potentially differing cultural norms and expectations?  Must be aware of the role of poverty, political, social and economic instability, and lack of rights on mental health  Increasingly, the literature is pointing to the potential of mental health interventions to improve clinical and economic outcomes in low- and middle-income countries

34  Cultural validity: How closely western concepts match local concepts; Western/outside concepts may not apply locally  Unknown local concepts: Are there important local issues/concepts unknown to us? How to include questions we don’t know we should be asking?  Translation problems: Who translates? Translation and back translation methods are inadequate, can result in semantic equivalence but real- world insignificance (i.e. lighting fires)  RISK: Interventions are not appropriate or effective and evaluations don’t accurately measure impact  RISK: Misidentify individuals as having a mental disorder rather than a culturally and contextually “normal” reaction (Betancourt, 2013)

35 Qualitative data informs assessment and intervention Apply lessons learned to new settings and intervention adaptations Use qualitative data to select, adapt, and create mental health measures and interventions; conduct validity study Implement culturally relevant intervention; evaluate with rigorous design Identify important mental health constructs relevant to the context (qualitative inquiry) (Betancourt, 2013)

36  Patel, Chowdhary, Rahman & Verdeli (2011)  Describes the development and evaluation of psychological treatments for depression in 3 resource poor countries (India, Pakistan, & Uganda)  Systematically adapted treatments developed in high income countries to contextual factors  Interventions were delivered by lay or community health workers  All demonstrated significant recovery rates when compared to usual care

37  2,796 Adults over 17 y.o. attending primary care who screened positive for depression  Cluster randomized controlled trial at health centers  Intervention  Psychoeducation  Interpersonal therapy (IPT)  Antidepressants  Specialist Referral  Compared to “enhanced” usual care – providing treatment guidelines on depression screening and antidepressants to primary care doctors  24% reduction in depression and anxiety disorder over 12 months

38  Delivery agent  Women  College graduates in any field  Recruited from the local community  Supervised by clinicians certified in IPT  Explained depression as a stress related illness rather than using the term “Depression” or other psychiatric label  Sessions were more structured and presented with simplified scripts in the local language  Discussion of religious practices as coping methods  Delivery in individual rather than group settings due to confidentiality concerns

39  903 married women aged in the 3 rd trimester of pregnancy who screened positive for depression  Cluster randomized controlled trial in 40 councils (geographic areas)  Intervention  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) delivered in the home  16 sessions from the last month of pregnancy to 10 months post-partum  Compared to “enhanced” usual care with similar numbers of sessions  78% reduction in depression at 6 months, 77% reduction at 12 months

40  Delivery agent  Women  Lady health workers who are part of the primary health care system  Mostly high school completers  Supervised by mental health specialists  Focus on mother and infant health rather than maternal depression  Use of “stressed” or “burdened” rather than psychiatric labels  Involvement of significant family members  Sessions structured to the perinatal period (ex: mother’s personal health, mother-infant relationship)  Culturally appropriate illustrations and homework activities

41  248 adults 18 and older who self-identified or were identified by others as having depression or who screened positive for depression  Cluster randomized controlled trial in 30 villages  Intervention  IPT delivered in 2 individual and 16 weekly group sessions  Compared to information provided about other available services (e.g., local healers and NGOs)  80% reduction in depression at termination, 74% reduction in depression at 6 month follow-up

42  Delivery agent  Males and females matched to sex of single-sex group  Mostly high school completers, some in college  Supervised my psychologists with experience in group therapy  Single-sex groups  Simplified language  “grief” renamed “death of loved ones”  “role transitions” became “life changes”  Local idioms of distress to discuss depression  Clarification that distress was not “madness”  Interpersonal deficits section was removed since communal activities are necessary and social isolation is rare

43  Key conditions must be met to delivery psychological treatment with lay workers 1. Lay workers from the local community 2. Well-designed participatory training 3. The treatment modified to address the skill set of the workers and the contextual issues and barriers 4. Supervision provided by people with more extensive mental health experience and skills and there a risk management system in place 5. Stigma associated with mental illness is addressed 6. Mental health is integrated into routine health care or existing community delivery systems (Patel, Chowdhary, Rahman & Verdeli, 2011)


45  Background on PTSD and family  Overview Iraqi refugee resettlement in US and Worcester  Findings on Iraqi resettlement, family life, and well-being  Implications for policy and intervention

46  No one, clear clinical picture  Trauma stereotypes don’t reflect variation in reality  There are some “hallmarks”  Nightmares  Poor sleep  Anger  Numbness or sadness  Avoidance of groups

47  Hyperarousal symptoms are the most related to anger and aggression  Depression are risk factors for aggression  Triggers can include:  Loss of sleep  Caffeine and other stimulants  Physical pain

48  Most literature on war exposure and parenting comes from veterans  Focus has been on fathers returning from combat duty  Mental illness in a spouse can cause increased hardship to the entire family unit  Difficulties in the post-war context may be compounded by parenting, particularly for mothers  PTSD may be associated with symptoms of hostility, grief, guilt and anxiety which can disrupt the family environment  Children whose parents have PTSD are at higher risk for symptoms of mental illness, including PTSD



51 12 Iraqi Families* 6 Muslim Families6 Mandaean Families 6 Fathers6 Mothers6 Fathers6 Mothers *One Christian family was also interviewed

52  Father: Frankly, I do not subscribe to the Arabic channels, nor am I following anything on the Internet. I personally am very sensitive. So I try as much as possible to stay away from the news. Because this is certainly a tragedy. Certainly, one is affected by this. No matter what, it remains your country, and this is the closest thing to your heart. In general, for sure, problems will arise, people lose their temper. If it's not myself, it's my family in Iraq; when I see my relatives losing their temper, I excuse them. Their families are in danger, one of their relatives has been injured, or killed. For sure the situation is hard because the situation is not stable in Iraq for sure.

53  Mother: [My son] was telling the story at school. He was little then and he remembers going to the market with his father, how he got into the car, he remembers the Americans getting into their car, he remembers how their car blew up. When my son came he was pale with fright, so when somebody this young goes through that - every time we mention Iraq he yells "we don't want to go back to Iraq! Don't bring up Iraq! I saw death!" This is what my son says.

54  Father: Over there he is surrounded by his uncles, his grandfather, he would not be able to get away with doing these things. I would be supported by all the family members. They would help me in bringing up my son. Here I'm alone. I am working against the current…If I tell them something, he has a response contrary to mine. He tells me "you shouldn't yell at me". I would tell him it's not a matter of me wanting to yell at you, sometimes you frustrate me and make me lose my temper. He tells me "even if you lose your temper you can't yell at me."

55  Higher previous living standards, proximity to traumatic events, and faster resettlement process for Iraqi refugees may complicate adjustment to new communities  Parents continue to suffer from their past war experiences and the continued violence in Iraq, which may put other family members at risk  The challenges facing Iraqi families during resettlement may reinforce a cycle of socioeconomic decline and mental illness

56  Approaches to working with Iraqi refugees differs from that of other refugees  Shortened resettlement period may affect trauma prevalence and presentation  Alienation and isolation of resettled Iraqi families can exacerbate problems of trauma and anger  Can complicate relationships with aid agencies  Reducing the barriers to employment closer to parents' education and training gained overseas could improve well- being of entire family  May also help mitigate feelings of loss and re-experiencing trauma  Strategies for obtaining information relevant to services (e.g. mental health screening) can leverage cultural values and family dynamics


58  Betancourt, T.S. & Ng, L.C. (2013). Family-Based Prevention of Mental Health Problems in Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in Rwanda (presentation).  Bloom, D.E., Cafiero, E.T., Jané-Llopis, E., Abrahams-Gessel, S., Bloom, L.R., Fathima, S., Feigl, A.B., Gaziano, T., Mowafi, M., Pandya, A., Prettner, K., Rosenberg, L., Seligman, B., Stein, A.Z., & Weinstein, C. (2011). The Global Economic Burden of Noncommunicable Diseases. Geneva: World Economic Forum.  Collins, P.Y., Patel, V., Joestl, S.S., March, D., Insel, I.R., & Daar, A.S. (2007). Grand challenges in global mental health. Nature, 475,  Menzies, N.A., Berruti, A.A., Berzon, R., Filler, S., Ferris, R., Ellerbrock, T.V., & Blandford, J.M. (2011). The cost of providing comprehensive HIV treatment in PEPFAR-supported programs., AIDS, 25,  Patel, V., Chowdhary, N., Rahman, A., & Verdeli, H. (2011). Improving access to psychological treatments: Lessons from developing countries. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 49,  Patel, V., Flisher, A.J., Hetrick, S., & McGorry, P. (2007). Mental health of young people: a global public-health challenge. The Lancet, 369,  Saraceno, B., van Ommeren, M., Batniji, R., Cohen, A., Gureje, O., Mahoney, J., Sridhar, D., & Underhill, C. (2007). Barriers to improvement of mental health services in low-income and middle- income countries. The Lancet, Global Mental Health Series,  Summerfield, D. (2008). How scientifically valid is the knowledge base of global mental health? BMJ, 336,  WHO (2003). Investing in Mental Health.

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