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Manasi Sharma

Consultant (Former title)

Dr. Manasi Sharma is a global mental health researcher, with expertise in child and adolescent health, psychiatric epidemiology, and implementation science. Her research focuses on mixed methods approaches to the development and evaluation of mental health interventions in low- and middle-income countries. Prior to working with UNICEF, she was based at the Harvard Medical School and Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health for 8 years, where she completed her PhD and postdoctoral training, focusing on risk and protective factors for mental health and peacebuilding in conflict-affected and epidemic settings in Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, DRC, Rwanda, and Somalia. She also has Masters degrees in clinical psychology and human rights law, and has worked across various global health projects across South Asia, Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her research focused on integrating mental health into primary care includes working on the mhGAP mental health guidelines with the World Health Organization, policy recommendations for Universal Health Coverage in India, and designing a stepped care RCT for increasing access to depression services in the UK.

Publications

Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing Across the Life Course: Towards an Integrated Conceptual Framework for Research and Evidence Generation
Publication

Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing Across the Life Course: Towards an Integrated Conceptual Framework for Research and Evidence Generation

Mental health conditions affect about 1 in 7 adolescents globally. In the context of COVID-19, the importance of mental health and psychosocial support for all has been undoubtedly confirmed. Despite the increased attention to mental health issues, there is a dearth of evidence on what determines child and adolescent mental health, who is most at risk, and what works to foster mental health across contexts, cultures and distinct population groups. This conceptual framework aims to inform research on child and adolescent mental health. It incorporates children’s developmental stages and the dynamic environment in which they live and grow. Informed by a review of existing theoretical frameworks on mental health and child development, this framework integrates elements of the socio-ecological model; the life course approach; the social determinants of health approach; and Innocenti Report Card’s Worlds of Influence Framework. Combining diverse aspects of these frameworks and approaches, we propose an integrated model to guide UNICEF’s research in this area.