General and post-disaster mental health servicing in Vanuatu: a qualitative analysis

Dawes, Nathan, Franklin, Richard C., McIver, Lachlan, and Obed, Jimmy (2019) General and post-disaster mental health servicing in Vanuatu: a qualitative analysis. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 40. 101256.

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Abstract

Background: Natural disasters contribute to the burden of mental illness, increased poverty and environmental degradation in developing Pacific countries. The aim of this study was to review the attitudes and opinions in relation to the delivery of post-disaster and general mental healthcare in Vanuatu.

Method: This qualitative study design applied semi-structured interviews to collect data from key informants. A total of 11 participants were involved in 11 interviews. The sample group consisted of; i) four government health representatives; ii) four non-government participants with knowledge of mental healthcare in Vanuatu; and iii) three community members from the village of Emua, Efate Island. NVivo qualitative data processing software assisted with thematic analysis of the transcribed data.

Results: The key findings of this study were associated with mental healthcare in Vanuatu and exhibited themes including: i) low levels of mental health literacy; ii) a deficiency of general and post-disaster mental health services; iii) the increased prevalence of mental health disorders following a disaster; and iv) strategies to improve general and post-disaster mental healthcare.

Conclusion: Findings indicate a range of challenges impeding the provision of mental healthcare in Vanuatu. Future actions should aim to: i) enhance levels of mental health literacy to diminish the stigma associated with mental illness; and ii) facilitate decentralised mental healthcare to enable the development of community based services. Increased levels of mental health literacy and improved access to community services will assist the identification and treatment of mental health disorders in Vanuatu.

Item ID: 60690
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2212-4209
Keywords: mental health, disaster, Pacific islands, mental healthcare
Copyright Information: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2019 07:37
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111715 Pacific Peoples Health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920407 Health Protection and/or Disaster Response @ 100%
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