Treating the causes of depression in Malawi

Treating the causes of Depression in Malawi is the first study of its kind. The study identified social factors that influence mental health and non-communicable diseases, and it showed that physical and mental health are closely interrelated.

Mental health is an important factor in human well-being, and has a substantial economic impact. This also applies to rural Malawi. Mental illnesses in rural areas of Malawi are mainly caused by economic worries and physical illness. When people are depressed, for example, they often do not eat enough proteins, which makes their problems worse. Research findings further show that depression and anxiety are widespread, and that gender differences must be taken into consideration. The Malawian government can now address the causes of these problems more specifically in its pursuit of good health and well-being.

This video-clip explores how the Malawian government cooperates with researchers to improve the mental well-being of its population. The videoclip was produced as part of the r4d programme Digital Storytellers synthesis project. Its contents were filmed and selected by James Mwera, Invest in Knowledge Initiative, Malawi, and Iliana Kohler, University of Pennsylvania. The digital storytelling process was accompanied and supported by Paitití Lab.

For more information on the study, please contact Iliana Kohler, University of Pennsylvania; James Mwera, Invest in Knowledge Initiative IWI. Or visit the website Knowledge for Development.

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