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Exploring Cultural Models of Mental Illness: Providing Critical & Constructive Insight for Global Mental Health Research & Practice

Bonnie Kaiser
Mon June 3rd 2024, 12:30 - 1:20pm


Drawing on examples from Haiti, Kenya, and Nigeria, I will present multiple studies where critical engagement with cultural models of mental illness improved global mental health research and practice. First, I will describe efforts to improve clinical communication and mental health assessment tools, by moving away from a singular focus on the cultural models of biomedical psychiatry and towards ethnopsychological models that better reflect participants’ lived experience. Then, I will share how exploring cultural models of mental illness and care-seeking behavior can improve fit of interventions and avoid inadvertently doing harm. Finally, I describe how colleagues and I have applied anthropological concepts to define and study effective delivery of care. Collectively, these efforts aim to center global mental health practice on what matters most to patients and communities.


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Passcode: 015333