- Challenges of creating synergy between global mental health and cultural psychiatry
- Transcultural Psychiatry
- Volume | Issue number
- 51 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article addresses four major challenges for efforts to create synergy between the global mental health movement and cultural psychiatry. First, although they appear to share domains of mutual interest, the worlds of global mental health and cultural psychiatry have distinct lineages. Expanding their horizons by learning from adjacent disciplines would be mutually beneficial. A second challenge concerns the conceptualization of a new classification system for mental health problems. Adopting a classification system that integrates new insights from socio-neurobiology and from a networks perspective could bring cultural psychiatry and global mental health closer and change the way each field addresses the mental health gap, which constitutes the third challenge. I summarize attempts to achieve comprehensive mental health coverage around the globe and question whether the strategies employed to achieve these goals have been successful, both in high- (HIC) and low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). In LMIC, the dominant strategy needs to be complemented by mobilization of other community resources including local practitioners. A fourth challenge is the lack of mathematical models to guide action and research and solve major preoccupations such as access to care or multi-level analyses in complex ecological or health systems.
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