Mental Health and Associated Factors among Adolescent Boys and Girls in Nairobi, Kenya

Rhoune Ochako, Population Council
Karen Austrian, Population Council - Kenya

Worldwide, it is estimated that 10-20% of adolescents experience mental health conditions, yet these remain underdiagnosed and undertreated. The government of Kenya through the Ministry of Health has acknowledged the challenges that adolescents face regarding mental health and is stepping up efforts to address the growing mental health challenge. This paper seeks to understand the prevalence of mental health and the associated risk factors among adolescent boys and girls from three informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya. Mental health was measured using a depression scale made of 6 items based on self-blame, worry, feeling sad, thoughts of inflicting self-harm, inability to sleep at night due to being unhappy and feeling happy. Generally, girls reported a higher score than boys which is an indication of higher levels of depression among girls. This paper will add to our knowledge and make recommendations to influence policy and interventions targeting adolescents suffering from mental health.

See paper.

  Presented in Session 63. Children’s and Adolescents’ Welfare including School Health Programs