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14 May

Mothers’ Mental Health: Some Thoughts and Solutions

Introduction  Last weekend was International Mother’s Day. The word ‘mother’ includes ‘other’, which aptly summarizes the incredible contribution of mothers to children, families, and society at large. It is essential to recognize these contributions and to pay close attention to mothers’ mental well-being. Women, especially mothers, are nearly twice as likely as men to experience

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18 Mar

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in a Globalized World

Taking care of our mental health is essential, no matter where we are in the world. In the more Western parts of the world, psychological interventions, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), are  effective in treating a wide range of common mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety,  post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.). However, the effectiveness of CBT as applied in other areas of the  world is much less discussed. Fortunately, there is some evidence from high–quality studies (e.g.,  systematic reviews, clinical trials) suggesting that CBT is linked to favourable mental health outcomes compared to other treatments in diverse contexts.    Cultural Adaptations in CBT     What is culturally adapting a treatment? It can be defined as modifying an evidence-based treatment to  consider the patient‘s cultural context. Interestingly, CBT can be adapted to different cultural contexts.  Several systematic reviews suggest that CBT’s effect on mental disorders is actually stronger when the  treatment is adapted to local cultural contexts. Further, cultural adaptions for treatment can take many  forms relevant to the local culture. For instance, questionnaires have been translated to local languages  and then tested to ensure fidelity to the original scale; more time can be taken to explain the techniques,  processes, and aims of CBT. Additionally, culturally appropriate stories and metaphors have been integrated  into the delivery of the CBT. In order to continue adapting CBT to more cultural contexts, it is of  primordial importance to develop a better understanding of how mental disorders are experienced and  expressed in various ways by the patient.     CBT delivery in low-and middle-income countries    Although CBT can be flexible to context, there are obstacles to CBT intervention delivery in low- and  middle-income countries (LMIC) where resource deprivation (such as fewer mental health professionals  available to deliver treatment) is disproportional. This is problematic given that unique sociocultural  factors in LMICs contribute to the increasing prevalence of mental health problems. Fortunately, it has  been found that local nurses, volunteers, university students, social workers, and students can be trained 

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