Caring for the carers – supporting families in fragile settings

In 2005 WHO declared ‘There is no health without mental health.’ The burgeoning field of global mental health recognises the contribution of mental health on the global burden of disease, and its common comorbidity with physical health.

In paediatrics, increasing evidence has found that parent mental health, coping and self-efficacy are important predictors for treatment success. In resource-poor areas, parents are expected to be a child’s doctor, physiotherapist, psychologist and advocate, so a focus on supporting parents to support their children makes sense. Children living with disability are at an especially high risk of poor health and social outcomes. In fragile states and conflict-affected areas, health and social services are often weak, and children living with disability are further disadvantaged.

Dr Alice Morgan will examine the development of global mental health and its use of caregiver programs to support the health and wellbeing of children and families living in resource-poor areas.

Dr Natalie Evans will introduce the “Mighty Children” program – a caregiver support group program developed for families with children living with disability in Afghanistan.

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