Santander Seminars: Global Mental Health and Cultural Psychiatry

Full Programme: prog -1.pptx-1

Click here for event information 17th April, 2013

The Global Mental Health movement aims to address the ‘treatment gap’, that is to ensure those with mental health problems receive care and appropriate psychosocial and pharmacological treatments. Global Mental Health movements also work towards ensuring minimum standards of mental health care around the world.  Achieving this across so many countries with limited budgets and in the context of diverse legislation to protect and promote mental health creates some challenges in the implementation. Thus global mental health movements aim to ensure policies and political processes support better standards of care and the budgets devoted to mental health are commensurate with the scale of health needs. Cultural psychiatry aims to improve the delivery of culturally appropriate mental health care that takes account of the cultural background and preferences of individuals, and the cultural background of the carer and treating professional. More recently our work has focussed on cultures of care and cultural consultation in order to understand complex systems, knowledge and power as culturally produced influences on the care process. At the heart of cultural psychiatry is equity, addressing inequalities, and ensuring care practices are adapted to be more effective, or at least not to undermine resilience and wellbeing or be unnecessarily coercive or destructive. Thus cultural psychiatry relies on local relationships and connected culturally informed communities of practice working with local populations to negotiate the care needs and treatments in a balanced way that promotes the public narratives and patient narratives in shared decision making. Clearly when cultural psychiatry and global mental health approaches meet, there is scope for a very fruitful synergy. This seminar is the first of three examining these issues, with a particular focus on Latin American countries, although other parts of the world will also be discussed. We invite leaders in global mental health and cultural psychiatry to participate in this event, and to form a network of deliberative commentators and policy makers. The seminars aim to improve understanding of cultural psychiatry and global mental health, the synergies and how to improve local implementation and care practices to reduce inequalities. If you wish to come (see poster below), please contact Lisa Kass (psychiatry@qmul.ac.uk).

I look forward to seeing you there

Prof. Kam Bhui MD FRCPsych

Professor of Cultural Psychiatry & Epidemiology, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, London; Public Health Lead, Royal College of Psychiatrists; President World Association of Cultural Psychiatry.

These seminars are made possible by a Santander award to Prof. Bhui, and by generous support from CCS, Careif, QMUL.

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