Adolescent mental health in Indonesia and Vietnam

Synopsis: The National Adolescent Mental Health Surveys (NAMHS) were nationally representative household surveys of mental disorders among adolescents aged 10-17 years in Kenya, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Conducted in 2021, over 5000 pairs of adolescents and their primary caregiver were interviewed in each country, with measures including diagnostic mental disorder, risk and protective factors, service use, and even COVID-19. This session focused on the why, how, and what of NAMHS i.e., why we did it, how we did it, and what we found.

Speakers: Associate Professor Holly Erskine and Dr Amirah Ellyza Wahdi

Associate Professor Holly Erskine leads the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Epidemiology and Services (CAPES) research stream at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research. Currently, Holly is the Principal Investigator of the National Adolescent Mental Health Surveys (NAMHS), which involves nationally representative household surveys of the prevalence of adolescent mental disorders in Kenya, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Dr Amirah Ellyza Wahdi is a faculty member in the Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Dr Wahdi obtained her MD from UGM and her Master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA. Dr Wahdi works mainly in adolescents’ health and well-being, women’s health, and childhood cancer and was the project manager for the Indonesia – National Adolescent Mental Health Survey (I-NAMHS).

Questions this event addressed:

  • How were these surveys done? Was it even possible, particularly given COVID-19?
  • What considerations were given to how mental disorders are defined and expressed in non-Western contexts?
  • What is the prevalence of mental disorders among adolescents in Kenya, Indonesia, and Vietnam?
  • What else can NAMHS tell us about adolescent mental health in these regions?

Date: 7 March 2024

Time: 1:00 to 2:00 pm AEDT

Key resource:

  • Erskine, H. E., Maravilla, J. C., Wado, Y. D., Wahdi, A. E., Loi, V. M., Fine, S. L., Li, M., Ramaiya, A., Wekesah, F. M., & Odunga, S. A. (2024). Prevalence of adolescent mental disorders in Kenya, Indonesia, and Viet Nam measured by the National Adolescent Mental Health Surveys (NAMHS): a multi-national cross-sectional study. The Lancet.

Event recording


Advancing Adolescent Health in the Asia Pacific: A virtual community to share knowledge and support collaboration

Despite one in two of the world’s adolescents living in the Asia-Pacific region, adolescent health is a relatively new field of endeavour in Australia as well as the region. It is a field that spans policy makers from multiple sectors, researchers from different disciplines, and practitioners working in health services, schools and communities and encompasses a multitude of health topics and concerns. Despite this, there are few opportunities to come together to share, showcase and build capacity to improve adolescent health and wellbeing in the region.

This seminar series aims to provide opportunities for researchers, policy makers, practitioners, implementers, young advocates – indeed, anyone interested in the health and wellbeing of adolescents – to enhance their understanding of adolescent health and wellbeing, with a focus on research.

This series is supported by the Centre of Research Excellence for Driving Global Investment in Adolescent HealthLed by a team at the Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, it brings together leading Australian research groups including the University of Melbourne, Burnet Institute, University of New South Wales, University of Queensland, University of South Australia, and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.

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