“Unequal Access to Mental Health Services” by Tilinao Lamba, 2013-2014 Fellow

Mental Health Illiteracy

I will explain mental health illiteracy with a couple of first-hand experiences that I’ve been through. While conducting research on maternal depression in the rural areas of Salima and Karonga, our starting point as a research team was to investigate whether our study participants knew what depression was. The word “depression” has no direct translation in our local languages. To give a loose translation to the word, we might have rushed in with words that meant “sadness”, “disappointment” or “heartbreak”. Instead, we decided to begin our study by asking a series of questions: