tools for mental health situational analysis

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tools for mental health situational analysis


Dear Collegues,

One of the fundamental challenges in mental health developement in Low and middle income countries mostly found in Africa is that data and information on the mental health needs of the population are extremely rare, not up-to-date if they exist. This is a paradox where as patients exist and  the little available mental health services function.  This lake of data and information  prevents policy makers to undertand concretely the needs of the population and make evidence informed healthcare decisions. I would be pleased to have a tool adapted to the African context which can enable me to assess the mental health situation for specific population (students, workers, youth, women etc) within a region. Thank you.


Hi Didier, great questions!

Hi Didier, great questions! Have you checked out our Resources section (can be filtered using the key words on the left hand side)? This one in particular might be useful:

This is also a great reason to contact/follow MHIN Africa, who will aim to serve as a repository for this type of info!

Celvermind - Mental Health Diagnostics & Tracking

Hello Didier,

Please take a look at Clevermind ( This is a cloud-based interviewing and diagnostic platform built to handle massive scale. (It is built on HireVue ( which already handles millions of interactions around the world for business.)

Clevermind (an HireVue) would allow you to 'interview' or interaction with any number of individuals or patients from any device via video. Then we use deep learning to build predicitve models to identify, score and rank these individuals against known outcomes. The result is a scalable platform. It is already being used for this purpose in the US by academic researchers as well as large enterprise customers including banks, health care, and government agencies.

I run these programs and would be happy to talk to you about our capabilities ane efforts in this area. I will also say that, for research, this is completely free. If we feel we can help you, we will happily do so.

Jeff Barson



Thank you Situational analysis vs Screening tools

Dear Doris,

Thank you for you reply. Thank you for the links. In fact , I should admit  the screen tool  resources  was one of the resources I found very valuable in the MHN :).  The articles are very limpid. I exactly know the screen tools and for which population they tie with . Even though I do not know where I can get them. This is another big challenge for mental health researchers in the south. Access to equipements and documentation.

What I do not understand is how to really access the mental health situation of a region for specif population if possible. Is there a tool for that apart from the WHO AIMS 2.0?  My problem with that tool  in my view point is that it has been calibrated  some how for perfect mental health systems. Whereas in my country there is not such a thing as a mental health system in the strict sense. I want to know if there exist a tool whch can evalute the functioning of structures or infrastructures that play the provide mental healthcrae or other services. I strongly believe that if SA or needs assessments ( another important thing) is not done it might be complex to elaborate long lasting and suistainable mental health systems in the south especially  francophone Africa. For the disparity between mental health developement in Africa is very wide and complex as one moves the north to the South..


Thank you

Dear Jeff Barson,


Thank you for your email . I should say it was very interesting reading your site and good to know how technology can really ease scientific research.

Glad to link in with you!


PRIME Situational Analysis Tool

Hi Didier

The Programme for Improving Mental Health Care (PRIME) developed a situational analysis tool because existing methods and tools for appraising mental health systems and services in LMICs did not meet our needs either due to reliance on primary research, or because they were not applicable to small population units, such as districts and sub-districts.

You can access the tool here: 

Charlotte Hanlon, et al. (2014) explains the genesis and reasoning behind PRIME's situation analysis tool and you can read the paper titled "Challenges and Opportunities for Implementing Integrated Mental Health Care: A District Level Situation Analysis from Five Low- and Middle-Income Countries" by clicking on the link. 

Please let me know if we can assist you in any other way.

Kind regards

Maggie Marx


Health System Strengthening for mental health care

Hello Maggie,

it was really useful to read your message and to learn about PRIME tool. I've been looking at the question on how to work on health system strengthening for the integration of mental health care in middle income countries, where health care systems are more or less functional. For that i have been learning about the HSS approach developped by WHO + my organization (Action against hunger) has also developped its own approach for that purpose, which is an adaptation of WHO's guidelines. As part of either of the approaches, the first step is to conduct a diagnosis/situation analysis of the health care system and then the steering committee has to decide on the priority areas to strengthen based on the outcomes of the diagnosis. What puzzles me about this way of approaching the integration of mental health care into primary care is that mental health care may not come up as top priority or that the committee may not see it as a priority. Do you have any thoughts/experience/insights on that? or anybody else?


Thanks a lot in advance,



Re: Health System Strengthening for mental health care

Dear Paulina

My apologies for only responding to the above question now. I was on maternity leave. Our response below:

We have also found that mental health is usually not considered a priority. However, building strong mutually beneficial relationships with Ministries of Health over time does aid the priority given to mental health. We have also found that engaging with Ministries of Health as well as District Stakeholders and providing evidence for  why mental health should be a priority and what they can do about it is an important first step. For example, in Ethiopia, we found that showing district and community members an estimate of the number of people who have severe mental illness in their district and then showing them what can be done to treat them has helped increase the priority given to mental health in the district. In South Africa, we have shown that treating mental illness has effects on other (often higher priority) health outcomes such as HIV, hypertension and diabetes in addition to better mental health outcomes.
Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions on this!