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Inverting the deficit model in global mental health: An examination of strengths and assets of community mental health care in Ghana, India, Occupied Palestinian territories, and South Africa

Online

26Junmosaic with two faces

 
Why has global mental health scholarship and practice focused almost exclusively on the unmet needs and barriers to mental health in communities?

How are communities shaping processes and outcomes for mental health? And what might be possible if we resist the deficit model in mainstream approaches to mental health research?

Join us as we explore these questions and discuss our recently published paper titled Inverting the deficit model in global mental health: An examination of strengths and assets of community mental health care in Ghana, India, Occupied Palestinian territories, and South Africa.

We will explore the value of informal care, the unique social structures of each local context, and resources within local communities as key existing assets for mental health.

We aim to invert the ‘deficit model’ of mental health in communities that are widespread in research, policymaking, and theory-development.

In this study, we posed two questions:

  • How does the socio-political context influence the practices and processes of community mental health systems in four different locations?
  • What common assets, including contextually specific practices of ‘informal’ mental health care exist in these communities?

This study is a collective output from the group behind the Together to Transform (T2T) project, hosted by the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health with support from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Together to Transform brought together mental health practitioners, activists, caregivers, and people with lived experience within the framework of an online mutual-learning platform. The project’s collaborators come, in part, from longstanding academic and non-academic partnerships in South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Ghana, Colombia, Palestine, Kosovo, India, Nepal, racially marginalised communities in the UK, and Canadian Indigenous communities.

Read more about the T2T process and the authors here.

The paper reflected on strengths and assets of community mental health care Ghana, India, South Africa and the occupied Palestinian territory to disrupt the emphases on health system weaknesses, treatment gaps and barriers which perpetuate harmful hierarchies and colonial and medical assumptions, or a ‘deficit model’.

About the speakers

Co-authors Kaaren Mathias (University of Canterbury) and Kenneth Ae-Ngibise (University of Newcastle, Australia) will summarise the article and spotlight key findings. Jasmine Kalha  (Co-lead, Centre for Mental Health Law and Policy, Pune) and Charlotte Hanlon (University of Edinburgh) will discuss why it is important to consider assets for mental health and the contribution to global mental health research. Lastly, co-author and T2T co-lead Dörte Bemme will identify future steps in practice and research to keep inverting the deficit model.

Event details

This event is free and open for all to attend. It will take place online on Zoom.

11:00-12:00 Presentations by co-authors on the article, main themes and commentary
12:00 Q&A

To register for the event, please sign up for your ticket here.

About the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health

The ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health develops research to promote and sustain good mental health in communities. We aim to shift public debate about mental health away from a focus on individualised interventions, towards social practices and policies that promote and sustain good mental health. We would like all events to be inclusive and accessible to all.

Accessibility

Please do not hesitate to contact us by email to csmh@kcl.ac.uk to further discuss any access requirements or to find out more details about this session.

 


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