Making Mental Health services a right not a privilege

A conference held at our University will see academics from around the world coming together to examine how mental health training can be globalised in the most effective way.

‘Global Mental Health - Training in an International Context’ is a day-long event taking place Friday 11 May, which is both free and open to the public.

Global Mental Health (GMH) has the broad aim of providing universal access to mental health care through the ‘scaling up’ of services and expertise in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) One aspect of this ‘scaling up’ has been the development of education and training in mental health to address social suffering in contexts of poverty, structural violence and humanitarian emergencies.

As a result, new mental health courses have been established in LMICs, as well as outside professionals from high income countries providing training to build capacity and develop local expertise.

During the conference, academics from the UK and beyond will consider whether this ‘scaling up’ is actually resulting in a ‘universal’ health knowledge. They will explore how mental health knowledge is transferred to those in LMICs, and whether this exchange takes into account economic and cultural differences.

The conference will provide a collaborative environment, facilitating the exchange of ideas around training and capacity building in the context of Global Mental Health. It will draw links between the local and global dynamics of mental health knowledge and practices, and how these can be understood within an international context.

Event organiser Dr Stephen Melluish, Director of Clinical Practice and Consultant Clinical Psychologist, said: “Global Mental Health is about ‘scaling up’ access to psychological and psychiatric treatments globally, particularly within the global South. The question this raises is whether mental health can, or should, be global and whether ‘Western’ conceptions of psychology and psychiatry have utility and meaning beyond a Western context. This conference hopes to consider these questions in relation to international mental health training.”

The conference will run from 9 am- 4pm in the University of Leicester’s George Davies Centre Lecture Theatre 2. Tea, coffee and a buffet lunch will be provided.