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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2009 Dec;30(12):777-87. doi: 10.3109/01612840903263579.

The promotion of mental health through cultural values, institutions, and practices: a reflection on some aspects of botswana culture.

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University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana.


Botswana has seen rapid socioeconomic development since the 1970s that has contributed to the erosion of the values, institutions, and practices that are believed to be supportive of mental health. In this paper, the author argues that the aspects of culture that are supportive of mental health have been diluted by the process of urbanization and the interactions of Batswana (the indigenous people of Botswana) with other cultural groups, particularly those from the western hemisphere. The paper further highlights some of the values, institutions, and practices native to Botswana and describes how they promote mental health. Lastly, recommendations for reviving the cultural values, institutions, and practices of Botswana are discussed.

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