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Grantees Profile

Sandra Jumbe

Country (Nationality)


Grantee Title

Project: Implementation of a mental health literacy e-curriculum (MHLeC) in Malawi universities

Grantee Description

Country of nationality:


Research area:

Mental health

 Host Organisation & country:

Millennium University, Malawi


Mental health knowledge in Africa is still low, whilst stigma and mistreatment towards people with mental health problems remain high, with no specific support for the youth. Dr Jumbe’s research will implement a mandatory mental health education program for students in Malawi universities to address the inadequate mental health support for the youth. The overall aim is to establish youth-centred, accessible and affordable educational support which can promote mental wellbeing of young people in Malawi, despite the country's limited mental health infrastructure and workforce.

Grantee Description

Dr Sandra Jumbe is a health psychologist and senior lecturer in research at Millennium University in the Department of Social & Health Sciences. She is also a health services researcher at Queen Mary University of London. She obtained her doctorate in Health Psychology from UWE Bristol in 2017 and has become an experienced researcher over the years working in both clinical and academic settings in primary care and mental health.

Dr Jumbe’s long term aspiration is to expand understanding of global mental health and related problems e.g., substance use, by advancing research niched on youth mental health in Africa, as well as training fellow young African scientists. Her health psychology background makes her an expert in behavioural science, enabling her to set the foundations for evidence-based work that can inform development of effective interventions, treatments, and policy decisions to improve human health.

Project: Implementation of a mental health literacy e-curriculum (MHLeC) in Malawi universities

This project aims to assess implementation of a mental health literacy (MHL) e-curriculum in universities in Malawi, within a feasibility trial. A key goal of Dr Jumbe’s research is to implement MHL on a large scale in Malawi universities to address the country’s mental health service gap. The high-level aim of this work is to establish youth-centred, accessible and affordable support to mitigate mental illness and increase mental wellbeing of young people in Malawi. Specific activities include:

  • Implementation of the MHL e-curriculum (developed collaboratively with youth and their advocates) in four to eight universities in Malawi within a pragmatic randomised feasibility trial. This trial will assess acceptability of the curriculum in youth friendly spaces (education and community settings), appropriateness of outcome measures and potential impact on MHL
  • An extensive community focused awareness campaign involving youth-centred festivals, radio interviews and social media talks on mental health to normalise mental health conversations outside university settings in both urban and rural communities. Another aspect of this work will focus on translating our mental health resource materials from English to local vernacular to aid inclusivity.

This novel work will address the issue of lacking youth mental health support in the face of inadequate in-country infrastructure and workforce, through provision of quality and accessible learning MHL materials that promote good mental health whilst reducing inequalities around health literacy within Malawi (SDGs 3, 4, and 10)