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Join us for the launch of the special issue Theorizing the “social” in mental health research and action in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. This is a hybrid event - join us in person at King's College London or online (on Zoom), and for a celebratory drinks reception afterwards.

What does a social perspective on mental health look like? And why does it matter? A social lens locates mental health not only in the individual – their psyche, brain, mind, emotions, or behavior – but in social relations, communities, and larger socio-cultural ecologies. So understood, mental health is inextricably linked to societal norms, how we live together, core ethical challenges in building a more equitable and sustainable social landscape, and the forces of social change and politics.

The special issue is the result of a two year long, interdisciplinary workshopping process organized by the Social Theory platform at the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health. It brought together epidemiologists, anthropologists, activists, lived experience experts, and sociologists to grapple with the multiple ways in which we understand and act on the “social” dimension of mental health.

The special issue advocates for epistemic justice and inclusive ways of theorizing the social dimension of mental health. It reflects on who gets to determine the concepts, measures, narratives, and the sites of “social” intervention, and it aims to recognize and rectify the exclusion of diverse knowledge communities from research, policymaking, and theory-development.

About the speakers

The event will feature keynote speaker Hári Sewell (founder and Director of HS consultancy) and a panel of five academics, including Stephani Hatch (King’s College London), Sridhar Venkatapuram (King’s College London), David Mosse (SOAS) and Anne Lovell (CERMES Paris). Together with members of the Lived Experience Advisory Group of the Centre, they will reflect on why it is important to view mental health through a social lens and what difference it can make. Lastly, guest-editors Dörte Bemme (King’s College London) and Dominique Béhague (King’s College London) will speak to the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinary and more inclusive modes of knowledge production.

Event details

17:00-18:30 Keynote, panel discussion and Q&A in Room MB2.2, Macadam Building (hybrid)
18:30 Drinks reception in Room MB2.2, Macadam Building

This event is free and open for all to attend.

To register, please click here to book your ticket. 

On the sign-up form, you will have the option to select whether you would like to attend the event in-person or online. You will also be able to let us know if you would like to join us for the drinks reception.

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. To receive the latest updates about our news and events, sign up to our newsletter and follow us on X and LinkedIn.


We would like all of our events to be inclusive and accessible to all. The event will take place in the Macadam Building at King’s College London (Strand Campus). For more information about the building, please visit the AccessAble page. Please contact us by email to to further discuss any access requirements or to find out more about the event.

At this event

Dörte  Bemme

Lecturer in Society and Mental Health

Dominique Béhague

Reader in Global Health & Anthropology

Stephani Hatch

Vice Dean for Culture, Diversity & Inclusion

Sridhar Venkatapuram

Senior Lecturer in Global Health and Philosophy

Hanna Kienzler

Professor of Global Health

Craig Morgan

Professor of Social Epidemiology

Event details

Macadam Building
Macadam Building, Surrey Street, London, WC2R 2NS