Assessing and Supporting Mental Health Outcomes among Adolescents in Kenya and Uganda

Adolescents from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are experiencing a high burden of mental health problems. This is partly due to the developmental changes that occur during this period. The COVID 19 pandemic has further increased the likelihood of mental health problems among these adolescents. This may be because of the negative effects of both the pandemic and its mitigation measures. Some of the anticipated stressful events include the sickness and deaths of family members and friends, loss of income by parents, reduced social interactions, and closure of schools among others. Despite the high burden of mental health problems in SSA, the few available services have been stretched thin by the increasing burden of mental health problems in the general population.

The Institute for Human Development is conducting a 30 months project in Kenya and Uganda to assess and support mental health outcomes among adolescents. The project aims to generate evidence in terms of quantifying the burden of mental health problems among adolescents aged 13-19 years. Furthermore, in conjunction with civil society organizations (CSOs), we aim to design mental health programmes that can be given to these adolescents to reduce and manage mental health problems. The wider benefits of the project are that the CSOs will have the capacity and resources to effectively provide mental health interventions to adolescents during and post COVID-19.

30+ Community Health Volunteers

currently involved in the study to support mobilization of the community.

20 Civil Society Organizations

(15 in Kenya and 5 in Uganda) to be engaged in interventions adaptation and to be offered training in various mental health interventions.

6 Civil Society Organizations

will be selected to administer the mental health interventions.

Study Sites


Adolescents engaged in the quantitative study. These include adolescents with disabilities, adolescents out of school, adolescents living with HIV, and school-going adolescents.


Adolescents and key informants including teachers, parents, community-based organizations, and religious leaders engaged through in-depth interviews and discussions. This aimed to get insights into the drivers of psychosocial stressors facing adolescents.


Adolescents targeted on our subsequent interventions to promote mental health.


Project Design