Mental health of adolescents in Myanmar: A systematic review of prevalence, determinants and interventions

Dominic Carroll, Nisaa Wulan, Zay Yar Swe, Aye Aye Myint, Sanda Sanda, Aye Myat Lwin, Tin Oo, Lei Lei Khaing, Cho Cho San, Win Pa Pa Tun, Karly Cini, Phone Myint Win, Peter Azzopardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adolescence is a developmental phase where mental disorders typically manifest and where platforms for response (including schools and health services) change rapidly. However, data to inform public mental health responses are limited, including in countries like Myanmar which has a large adolescent population and where mental health has been identified as a priority of policy. In this paper we sought to systematically review the peer-reviewed and grey literature to determine (i) the prevalence of mental disorder among adolescents in Myanmar, (ii) determinants of mental disorder and (iii) interventions that have been implemented and evaluated. Nine publications met inclusion criteria (7 peer-reviewed and 2 grey literature) that included 7 publications reporting prevalence, 6 reporting correlates and one an intervention. The available data from the 2016 Global School-based Health Survey highlight that depression (27.2%) and suicidal ideation (9.4%) are prevalent in Myanmar, and these rates are substantially higher than regional averages. The limited available data on correlates identified violence and bullying, alcohol and substance use, and home, family and community security and cohesion as being closely related to mental health for adolescents. Only one study focussed on interventions and this found mindfulness meditation training to be an effective approach for young people whose parents were affected by HIV. These findings underscore the need to address adolescent mental health in Myanmar, but also to invest in better data collection efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102650
JournalAsian Journal of Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Disorder
  • Mental health
  • Myanmar
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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