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Surveys involving thousands of adolescents and their primary caregiver have shown the prevalence of mental disorders within the age group is very different across Kenya, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Associate Professor Holly Erskine, from The University of Queensland’s School of Public Health and the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, said the findings demonstrated the importance of collecting data for individual countries, rather than assuming all low- and middle-income countries are similar.

The National Adolescent Mental Health Surveys (NAMHS) led by UQ found nearly 1 in 8 adolescents in Kenya had a mental disorder in the 12 months prior to the survey, while in Indonesia it was 1 in 18 and in Vietnam 1 in 30.

A recent study highlights significant variations in the prevalence of adolescent mental disorders across Kenya, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Researchers examined mental health data from adolescents in these countries, finding that cultural, social, and economic factors heavily influence the rates and types of mental health issues experienced. The study reveals that adolescents in Kenya exhibit higher rates of anxiety and depression compared to their counterparts in Indonesia and Vietnam. This disparity is attributed to differences in social support systems, economic stability, and access to mental health resources.

In Indonesia, the prevalence of mental disorders among adolescents is notably lower, potentially due to strong community ties and cultural norms that promote collective well-being. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, adolescents face unique mental health challenges, including high levels of academic stress and pressure, which contribute to anxiety and other mental health issues.

The findings underscore the importance of context-specific mental health interventions and the need for improved access to mental health care in these regions. Addressing these disparities requires tailored strategies that consider the unique cultural and socioeconomic environments of each country.

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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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