Africa has been left-off the agenda…again! Despite local efforts to increase mental training and international calls for increasing mental health care access, Africa does not have a seat at the psychometric table. A handful of scholars and studies from South Africa have articulated this health inequity. They have highlighted how psychometric tests were developed in a largely White, Western, HIC world. The current norms (for almost all psychometrics tests) are based in standards of whiteness and privilege. We as practitioners, scholars, and seekers of mental well-being must respond to this inequity. I am choosing to start from the beginning, the first psychometric test.
I am choosing East Africa because that is where myself, loved ones, and colleagues have lived. As a White-woman, I acknowledge my privilege and potential ancestral roots of colonization perpetration. It is not my right to dictate or quantify health in a country that is not my own, I should merely function as a trainer, supervisor, friend, and ally in health. For this reason, we have local PIs in each country, data collectors from their home country, and evaluations will be conducted in local languages. This is a multi-country collaboration with the goal of expanding what we as a society consider the norms and the tools we as mental health practitioners use to identify and define psychopathology and well-being. My hope is that I will work myself out of a consulting/training job and that our country teams will become the educators, the practitioners, the purveyors of assessing mental health for their own countries.