How will this help people in Africa?

There is currently a dearth of mental health providers across sub-Saharan Africa. This means that many people do not have access to mental health care either because of availability, stigma, or both. In 2012, a publication discussed the Empowering People Affected by Mental Disorders to Promote Wider Engagement with Research (EMPOWER) in response to societal stigma and neglect of mental ailments as deficits instead of diseases1. A 2016 Lancet article indicates that the global burden for mental illness is estimated to be 32·4% of years lived with disability (YLDs) and 13·0% of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs)2. Since 2004, South African practitioners have been calling for culturally-adaptive assessments – a call that has remained unanswered3. We hope to start answering this call and expand psychological assessment delivery outside of South Africa.  
 
Our study has provided a source of fiscal compensation to 450+ Africans. Though tangential to our larger goal of piloting normative development, it is not without benefit to locals. More broadly this study will provide East Africa with a pictorial psychological assessment that can be used for patients moving forward and also as an entrée to culturally-specific assessments that can be taught for local masters- and doctoral-level clinicians as thus help propel the mental health field forward. Data collection may also help dispel myths or misconceptions about mental health and thus create an area for exploration or at minimum, a resource for participants. 

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