I recently spent 6 months in Namibia as a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. The purpose of my visit was twofold: the establishment of a database for trauma-related mental health disorders and the development of a validated, self-report screening instrument for mental illness. In the process, I was able to meet with Namibian colleagues and visit a number of health care centres in the country. This article will focus on my impressions of psychiatry in Namibia that were formed during my visit. A brief summary of Namibian history, in particular the country's relations with neighbouring South Africa, will help place my observations in a more meaningful context.
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