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King's researchers to lead Lancet Psychiatry Commission on Psychoses in a Global Context

This new international collaboration will develop a global road map for future research, practice and policy to improve the lives of people living with psychotic disorders.

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A new Lancet Psychiatry Commission on Psychoses in Global Context, led by Professor Craig Morgan from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, has been launched to address the challenges that people with psychosis in low-income countries experience. The report, set to be published in 2022, will evaluate existing evidence on psychoses and make recommendations to guide research, policy, and development in this area.

Psychoses affect more than 20 million people around the world. People who experience psychoses are at high risk of experiencing impoverishment, premature mortality, marginalisation and discrimination, human rights violations, and poor social outcomes. Discrimination has been further highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with vaccination programmes neglecting to prioritise those with psychoses despite evidence of increased infection rates and poorer outcomes. Moreover, people with psychoses experience many barriers to accessing mental health services, particularly in low-income countries where services are severely under-resourced.

Psychoses affect millions worldwide and often have profound and lasting effects on people’s lives. To date, very little research has been conducted on psychoses outside of select centres in high income countries. This means we lack the knowledge base to develop and advocate for accessible, humane, and effective responses and services in many parts of the world. The Commission will take stock of what we know and what we need to do to redress these inequalities. We hope it is a catalyst for change, for changes in policy, funding, services – changes that, ultimately, lead to more humane and equitable social responses and services.– Professor Craig Morgan

Despite the large number of people whose lives are negatively impacted by psychoses, research in this area has been neglected in the global mental health field. The majority of research on psychoses is from North America, Western Europe, and Australasia and has not directly involved people with lived experience and their families.

The Lancet Psychiatry Commission seeks to evaluate the current evidence on psychoses in low-income countries and raise awareness for the needs of those with psychoses around the world.

There is an urgent need to fill major knowledge gaps in what we know about psychosis in the global context. Only a global perspective can provide the evidence required to truly advance the prevention and management of this disorder, to fully understand its human and economic impact, and to influence national and international policies and advocacy efforts. The road map that will be set by this Commission is a call to action for all stakeholders.– Professor Paola Dazzan

The Commission has five aims:

  • To produce a definitive summary of global evidence on psychoses.
  • To identify current gaps in the knowledge of psychoses from a global perspective.
  • To highlight the neglect of psychoses in the global (mental) health agenda and in investment in research, services, and policy reform.
  • To set out a roadmap for researchers, funders, service planners, and policy makers to address key challenges in reducing the global burden of psychoses.
  • To issue a call to action, targeted at influencing international and national policy and advocacy efforts, to prioritise psychoses in the global health agenda.

These aims will be achieved throughout coordinated international and interdisciplinary efforts, with inclusion of people with lived experiences of psychoses – a template that the authors hope will encourage the full inclusion of those with lived experience in future Lancet Commissions.

The authors intend for the initial report to initiate an ongoing open dialogue which will act to continue the development of evidence in the field of psychoses.

In this story

Craig Morgan

Craig Morgan

Professor of Social Epidemiology

Paola Dazzan

Paola Dazzan

Professor of Neurobiology of Psychosis, IoPPN Vice Dean (International)

Charlotte Hanlon

Charlotte Hanlon

Professor of Global Mental Health

Akriti Mehta

Akriti Mehta

Research Assistant

Georgina Miguel Esponda

Georgina Miguel Esponda

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Tessa Roberts

Tessa Roberts

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow