NPHR Blog

(Princeton University Press. 1960)

                                                                          By Osefame Ewaleifoh

It is remarkable that the most comprehensive review of mental health and suicide in Africa was written in the 1960′s. This fact underscores how little we know today about the reality of mental health need and suicide in Africa.“Homicide, suicide and mental illness in Africa” was compiled and edited by Paul Bohannan, a Rhodes Scholar and professor of Social Anthropology at Oxford in 1960 and provides a rich ethnographic assessment of mental health,  homicide  and suicide in west Africa at the end of European colonial rule of the region.

This timeless must read volume work was conceived after Dr. Bohannan and his colleagues stumbled into a cache of judicial and police documents belonging to the British Colonial Lords in East Africa. This discovery prompted Paul and his collaborators to compile and analyze similar data sets from other regions of the continent from…

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