‘Mental Health, Stigma and Neglected Tropical Diseases’ journal supplement launches

03 May 2024

Last week we launched our supplement ‘Mental Health, Stigma and Neglected Tropical Diseases’ in our journal International Health.

Neglected tropical diseases result in physical impairment and disabilities and are associated with substantial comorbidity with mental health conditions, frequently driven by social stigma and exclusion. In recent years there has been substantial growth in interest in this intersection.

This supplement was made possible with support from CBM Global, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, The Leprosy Mission, The Carter Centre, Effect Hope, and grants from the National Institute for Health Research, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and UK Aid.

Dr Julian Eaton, Assistant Professor at the Centre for Global Mental Health at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Mental Health Director at CBM Global Disability Inclusion, as well as Co-Guest Editor of the supplement, said: "Global normative guidance like the WHO NTD Roadmap, and clear advocacy from national actors, has led to NTD leaders recognising the importance of mental health as a consideration in supporting people affected by NTDs. There is now a need to provide evidence to enable provision of support at scale, and this Supplement contains examples of how a vibrant research community is starting to address this gap."

Dr Laura Dean, Lecturer at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Co-Guest Editor of the supplement, said: “This supplement aimed to centre the voices and lived experiences of people affected by NTDs and mental health conditions in unlocking the solutions to their own challenges and in raising awareness of this critical issue. 

“We still have far to go in ensuring that indigenous forms of knowledge and lived experience are given equal weighting and representation in scientific evidence, however, we hope that this supplement highlights innovation in addressing mental health, stigma and NTDs, based on rich understandings of local contexts and lived experiences of affected persons, their families and communities.”

The supplement was launched last week at an event at the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

The articles contained in the supplement, which is formed of two parts, are below.

Mental Health, Stigma and Neglected Tropical Diseases: Part A

  • Editorial: Taking forward a holistic research agenda for mental health of people affected by neglected tropical diseases. Julian Eaton.
  • Commentary: Mental health and neglected tropical diseases – the neglected dimension of burden: identifying the challenges and understanding the burden. David H Molyneux.
  • Commentary: Steps towards eliminating Hansen's disease stigma. Patrícia Deps and others.
  • Short Communication: Creating a network of people affected by neglected tropical diseases in Liberia: the same secret we were keeping, they are keeping it, too. Emmanuel Guyan Zaizay and others.
  • Short Communication: Female genital schistosomiasis: my personal account and key recommendations to the global health community. Delphine Pedeboy.
  • Original Article: Mental health conditions in people affected by filarial lymphoedema in Malawi: prevalence, associated risk factors and the impact of an enhanced self-care intervention. Carrie Barrett and others.
  • Original Article: Mental health, stigma and the quality of life of people affected by neglected tropical diseases of the skin in Kasai Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo: a sex-disaggregated analysis. Maaike L Seekles and others.
  • Original Article: Integrated services for neglected tropical diseases and mental health: pilot study assessing acceptability, feasibility and attitudes in Benue State, Nigeria. Taiwo Obindo and others. 
  • Original Article: Integration of services for Neglected Tropical Diseases and mental health in Nigeria: development of a practical model informed by international recommendations, contextual factors and service-user perspectives. Julian Eaton and others.
  • Original Article: Impact of basic psychological support on stigma and mental well-being of people with disabilities due to leprosy and lymphatic filariasis: a proof-of-concept study. Ashok Agarwal and others.
  • Original Article: Impact of basic psychological support on stigma and the mental well-being of people with disabilities due to leprosy and lymphatic filariasis: a postintervention evaluation study. Marente M Mol and others.
  • Original Article: Stigma, depression and quality of life among people affected by neglected tropical diseases in Nepal. Deependra K Thapa and others.

Read Part A here

Mental Health, Stigma and Neglected Tropical Diseases: Part A

  • Editorial: People, power and participation: strategic directions for integrated person-centred care for NTDs and mental health. Laura Dean and Julian Eaton.
  • Commentary: Let them talk and we listen: what are diseases of neglected people? Mathias Duck.
  • Commentary: Windows of opportunity in integrating mental health into care of neglected tropical diseases: the Nigeria experience. Tunde M Ojo and others.
  • Short Communication: Leprosy in Colombia: A look from life experience. Julián Andrés Uribe Mora and Patricia Devia Angarita.
  • Review: Prevalence, assessment and correlates of mental health problems in neglected tropical diseases: a systematic review. Samuel Adjorlolo and others.
  • Original Article: Lessons from integrating mental health as part of lymphatic filariasis morbidity management and disability prevention services in Jigawa State, Nigeria. Juliana A Amanyi-Enegela and others.
  • Original Article: Participatory development of a community mental wellbeing support package for people affected by skin neglected tropical diseases in the Kasai province, Democratic Republic of Congo. Motto Nganda and others.
  • Original Article: Illness experiences and mental health challenges associated with female genital schistosomiasis in Cameroon: a gender analysis. Makia Christine Masong and others.
  • Original Article: An evaluation of mental health integration in the neglected tropical diseases program in Zamfara, North-west Nigeria. Sunday Udo and others.
  • Original Article: Experiences of social stigma of people living with Hansen's disease in Brazil: silencing, secrets and exclusion. Gabriella Carrijo Souza and others.
  • Original Article: A pilot study to address the mental health of persons living with lymphatic filariasis in Léogâne, Haiti: Implementing a chronic disease self-management program using a stepped-wedge cluster design. Shanze Sadiq and others.

Read Part B here