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Guidelines | September 6, 2018

Framework for Strengthening Integration of Mental Health in Programs for Children Orphaned or Made Vulnerable by HIV

Children must have their needs met in multiple domains and across their full course of development in order to thrive. In low and middle-income countries (LMIC), it is estimated that 250 million children under the age of five are not meeting their developmental potential. Poverty, HIV and other disease burdens, coupled with common mental disorders including alcohol and other substance use disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, clinical and postnatal depression, distress, and anxiety, impact how caregivers meet the needs of children. When mental health is not considered or addressed, there can be a significant impact on an individual, their family and the community. This paper aims to provide a framework for existing OVC programs to consider and improve integration of mental health in cost-effective ways. It builds on the review of published literature, “HIV and caregiver common mental disorder: Synergistic impacts on child development and entry points for interventions,” released by Coordinating Comprehensive Care for Children (4Children) in 2018, and is informed by inputs from six 4Children programs: DRC, Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda.