Meet some of our students

Mental Health

St John of God College

Medic to Medic has expanded our need to support mental health workers. The need in this neglected speciality is enormous in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Prevalence of common mental health disorders in Malawi has been estimated at up to 29%, but is likely to be an underestimate given high rates of unemployment, disease and poverty impacting psychological well-being. Indeed, the highest rates of suicide are in developing countries.  Availability for assessment and treatment however is limited by resources with only 0.01 psychiatrists and 0.22 psychiatric nurses per 100,000 population (Improving Access to Mental Health Services in Malawi. Michael Udedi. MOH Policy Brief July 2016).  This is compared to 17.65 psychiatrists and 83.23 psychiatric nurses per 100,000 population in the UK (World Health Organisation 2011). 

We support upgrading clinical officers and nursing training in psychiatric medicine / nursing.  We were asked by the Faculty at St John of God to consider partial scholarships for these students so that more students could benefit, rather than a lucky few being supported by everything.  Additionally, because they are upgrading students, most receive a modest salary and work at weekends in local clinics and hospitals because they are already trained nurses and clinical officers; as such their need is not as acute as our undergraduate students.  We support approximately 5-10 mental health students per year through a donation from a single donor.  We would love to expand our work within this specialty.