School: School of Human Ecology
Global mental health is an emerging field that prioritises improving mental health and achieving equity in mental health for all people worldwide, especially those in low-resource settings and focusing on the necessity for culturally relevant and sensitive mental health initiatives. While the emergence of the discipline of global mental health is rooted in the distinguished history of inter-disciplinary research and development and the field of transcultural psychiatry (Patel, 2014), much of the work on global mental health is concentrated in the fields of psychiatry and public health. The psychiatry and public health models of mental health often de-emphasize how psychosocial aspects of distress are linked to the prevailing social, cultural and political aspects. Culture affects how mental health concerns are viewed and the stigma experienced by people with mental issues. It also affects explanatory models, symptom manifestations and acceptability and choice of treatment options. The social sciences provide an alternate/additional lens to examine, evaluate and theorise about aspects of mental health.
The MA in Global Mental Health program is designed with a special emphasis on mental health concerns, programmes and policies in the context of low- and middle-income countries. Mental health concerns in LMICs account for 11.1% of the disease burden, yet they do not draw the desired global health policy attention. Poverty, low education, social exclusion, gender disadvantage, conflict and disasters are some of the major social determinants of mental health concerns in LMICs. Mental health resources are very scarce, and investment in mental health is less than 1% of the health budget in many countries resulting in a considerable treatment and mental health care gap (Patel, 2007). There are several challenges related to mental health services in LMICs pertaining to legislation and policy, finances and resources, availability and distribution of services and of trained mental health care professionals and workers (Rathod et, al. 2017). Understanding these unique contexts and challenges is important to strengthen mental health awareness and response in LMICs.
The program aims to expose the students to cross-cultural understandings of mental health, to the complex social, cultural and political dynamics that shape mental distress, the range of mental health programmes that exist in different parts of the world, a critical lens of looking at mental health policies and research, and to skills of programme development and monitoring. By doing so, the program hopes to develop a cadre of professionals with a critical and rights-based understanding of global mental health practice. The inputs from the program will enable the participants to make vital contributions to the field of mental health in areas related to mental health programmes, policy, research, monitoring and evaluation. These contributions will focus not only on mental distress and the well-being of populations but also on the broader socio-economic-cultural contexts that affect distress and well-being.
1 year (2 semesters)
The programme will be delivered in a predominantly online mode with one month of contact classes
Programme Aim and Objectives:
To develop critical understanding, perspectives, and competencies in global mental health practice, with a special emphasis on Low-Middle Income countries (LMIC).
Distribution of Credit Hours:
Number of Credits: 40
Total Credits 20
This is a self-financing program.
M. A. In Global Mental Health (One Year)
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