Launching: Sub-Saharan Africa Caregiver Mental Health Mini-Series

By Erin Pfeiffer, Caregiver Mental Health Knowledge Sharing Series Coordinator, Food for the Hungry

Twitter: @food4thehungry @USAIDSavesLives

REGISTER TODAY for sessions on 20 and 27 October and 10 and 17 November!

Mother and Child in Burundi by Jeff Arnold Burundi, courtesy of Food for the Hungry

The mental health of the caregivers of young children is increasingly recognized globally as a critical component of caregivers’ wellbeing that has undeniable long-lasting or even permanent impact on their welfare, their family, and the health and development of their children. 

With generous support from The Implementer-Led Design, Evidence, Analysis and Learning (IDEAL) activity of the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance and the Eleanor Crook Foundation, Food for the Hungry is launching a Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)-focused Caregiver Mental Health Knowledge Sharing Series. The Series will focus on the connection between caregiver mental health, child growth, nutrition and food security. The Series aims to promote the exchange of knowledge, evidence, and resources between stakeholders in caregiver mental health; identify opportunities for increased attention to and funding for integration of mental health interventions into health and nutrition programming; and drive future research and implementation to fill current gaps. The visual below demonstrates the multiple components that the Series will include. 

This initiative will kick off with a multi-part, interactive, highly dynamic virtual "Mini-Series" set of live and asynchronous learning components across October and November that will set the Sub-Saharan Africa series in motion. Dates for the live sessions are 20 and 27 October and 10 and 17 November. REGISTER HERE! Implementers, researchers, policy makers, and advocates are invited to attend to learn from others and share practical insights. Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the evidence-base, as well as research gaps, related to caregiver mental health disorders in SSA and the correlations and potential causal pathways between caregiver mental health, child growth, nutrition, and food security. 
  • Explore case studies from across SSA illustrating opportunities for integration of mental health services into food security and nutrition programming.
  • Hear from experts at the World Health Organization, UNICEF, United for Global Mental Health and other policy, funding, and advocacy leaders on the path forward for advancing mental health on the global agenda.
  • Form linkages with implementers, researchers, advocates, and funders from across sectors who share a vested interest in caregiver mental health.

Erin Pfeiffer, MPH, is a Senior Technical Advisor in Global Health and Nutrition with 15 years’ experience designing, managing, and evaluating health and nutrition development programmes and research initiatives in low-resource countries as a part of broad health system strengthening efforts. She is a member of the ANH Academy Mental Health Working Group. Her content specialization includes maternal, newborn, child, adolescent health and nutrition; caregiver mental health; early childhood development; social and behaviour change; and reproductive health. She has diverse programmatic and policy experience working with academia, international non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups, advocacy representatives, ministries of health, and medical institutions. Most recently, Erin has served as Health and Nutrition Technical Advisor for Food for the Hungry’s Development Food Aid Program in Ethiopia and for a Randomized Controlled Trial on the impact of maternal depression on child health and nutrition outcomes in Uganda. She also spearheads the global Caregiver Mental Health Knowledge Sharing Series Community of Practice. Erin holds a Master of Science from the Harvard School of Public Health, a Bachelor of Science in Health and Exercise Science from Wake Forest University, and a Certificate in Non-profit Management from Duke University.