Experiences of parents of children with mental disability regarding access to mental health care
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The purpose of this study was to explore the challenges parents of children with mental health disabilities and disorders in Namibia face when attempting to access mental healthcare resources. The study used a qualitative exploratory approach. Purposive sampling was used to include parents, caregivers and relatives of children with metal health disabilities and disorders. The sample also included key informants. Data was collected through focus group discussions with the participants and individual interviews with the key informants. Overall, a total of 41 people provided information for this study. Thematic data analysis was used to assess the data. The results suggest that parents/caregivers and relatives of children with mental health disabilities and disorders do experience barriers accessing mental health care. The challenges go beyond commonly-reported problems in the literature such as stigma and discrimination and include basic challenges such as a lack of transportation to healthcare services and a lack of acceptance of the mental health disorders by the parents. The study offers recommendations for how service provision can be improved and how parents of children with mental health challenges can have better access to services.