Xanthe Hunt

Xanthe Hunt

Professor Xanthe Hunt is a member of faculty at Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI), an associate professor of global health at Stellenbosch University, and an honorary specialist scientist at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). At AHRI, she leads adolescent mental health, a major strategic research area for the institute.

Xanthe holds a PhD in psychology from Stellenbosch University and has postgraduate training from Harvard and Stellenbosch Universities in epidemiology, biostatistics, and research methods. Her expertise is in mental health, violence prevention and intervention, sexual health, disability, and social protection.

In her research, Xanthe has worked across sub-Saharan Africa, including in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia, and has led health systems’ strengthening initiatives, monitoring and evaluation projects, as well as a range of research studies including trials. Xanthe’s work also includes a strong policy and knowledge mobilization component. During her time at the World Health Organisation she contributed to the global visibility of childhood disability as a priority for health strategies and policies, and her work on violence and disability has been instrumental in the capacity development of government officials, frontline workers, and civil society actors internationally.

Xanthe has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, over 10 book chapters, and has published one book. She has been an invited speaker at large international convenings such as the Global Disability Summit and World Mental Health Forum. She is a member of several steering committees for international initiatives in mental health, disability, and child development.

Additionally, she teaches undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and provides capacity development workshops for research and project staff globally, with a focus on monitoring and evaluation and health systems’ strengthening. She supervises PhD students and early career researchers through her affiliation with Stellenbosch University.

Xanthe was the 2018 recipient of the Stellenbosch University Chancellor’s Medal, a 2019 NIH Fogarty Fellow, and was named one of Mail & Guardian’s 200 Trailblazing Young South Africans to Watch.

Get in touch with Xanthe via xanthe.hunt@ahri.org

Click here for a full list of publications.

Selected Recent Publications

Hunt, X., Shakespeare, T., Vilyte, G., Melendez-Torres, G. J., Henry, J., Bradshaw, M., Naidoo, S., Mbuyamba, R., Aljassem, S., Suubi, E., Aljasem, N., Makhetha, M., & Bantjes, J. (2023) . Effectiveness of social inclusion interventions for anxiety and depression among adolescents: A participatory systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Hunt, X., van der Merwe, A., Swartz, L., Xakayi, W., Chideya, Y., Hartmann, L., Botha, M., and Hamilton, A. (2023). “It is in the nature of men”: The normalisation of non-consensual sex and intimate partner violence against women with acquired physical disabilities in South Africa. Violence Against Women.

Bantjes, J., Kessler, M. J., Hunt, X., Stein, D. J., & Kessler, R. C. (2023). Treatment rates and barriers to mental health service utilisation among university students in South Africa. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 17(1), 38.

Gbollie, E. F., Bantjes, J., Jarvis, L., Swandevelder, S., Du Plessis, J., Shadwell, R., ... & Hunt, X. (2023). Intention to use digital mental health solutions: A cross-sectional survey of university students’ attitudes and perceptions toward online therapy, mental health apps, and chatbots. Digital Health, 9, 20552076231216559.