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Call for papers: Globalising Mental Health or Pathologising the Global South?

Call for Papers

 Disability and the Global South:

An International Journal

www.dgsjournal.org

 Globalising Mental Health or Pathologising the Global South?

Mapping the Ethics, Theory and Practice of Global Mental Health

 Guest Editors: China Mills and Suman Fernando

Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Movement for Global Mental Health, are calling to ‘scale up’ psychiatric treatments, often specifically access to psychiatric drugs, globally, and particularly within the global South. Amid these calls, others can be heard, from those who have received psychiatric treatments in the global North and South, and from some critical and transcultural psychiatrists, to abolish psychiatric diagnostic systems and to acknowledge the harm caused by some medications. Furthermore, voices have also been raised advocating the need to address social suffering, personal distress and community trauma in the global South in a context of poverty, political violence and natural disasters; and calling for people given psychiatric diagnoses to have their human rights protected by disability legislation.

The Movement for Global Mental Health frames distress as an illness like any other, calling for global equality in access to psychiatric medication. However there is a growing body of research from the global North that documents the harmful effects of long-term use of psychiatric medication and questions the usefulness of psychiatric models (see Angell, 2011; and Whitaker, 2010). This raises concerns; about the ‘evidence base’ of Global Mental Health; about increasing access to psychiatric drugs globally; about the promotion of psychiatric diagnoses such as ‘depression’ as an illness; and changes the terms of debate around equality between the global South and North. What are the ethics of ‘scaling up’ treatments within the global South whose efficacy are still hotly debated within the global North?

There are other concerns about Global Mental Health; that it exports Western ways of being a person and concepts of distress that are alien to many cultures, and imposed from the ‘top down’, potentially repeating colonial and imperial relations (Summerfield, 2008), and that psychiatry discredits and replaces alternative forms of healing that are local, religious or indigenous (Watters, 2010). Alongside this, many users and survivors of the psychiatric system argue for the right to access non-medical and non-Western healing spaces, and to frame their experience as distress and not to depoliticise it as ‘illness’ (PANUSP, 2012). Yet for the pharmaceutical industry – there is a huge financial incentive in both expanding the boundaries of what counts as illness, and expanding across geographical borders into the often ‘untapped’ markets of the global South. This marks a process of psychiatrization, where increasing numbers of people across the globe come to be seen, and to see themselves, as ‘mentally ill’ (Rose, 2006).

This is the context in which this special issue is situated. We would like to invite contributions that are inter-disciplinary and that ground rich conceptual work in ‘on the ground’ practice. We really welcome papers that try to grapple with the complexity and the messiness of debates around Global Mental Health. We hope to explore a range of issues and address some difficult questions, including (but not exclusively);

  •  Issues over access to healthcare and the right to treatment in the global South, and how these debates may be different for mental distress compared to physical illness and disability
  • Critical analysis of the evidence base of Global Mental Health and the ‘treatment gap’ in mental health care between the global South and North
  • Global mental health as a disabling practice
  • Examples of mental health activism and lobbying within the global South as well as resistance
  • Dilemmas and accounts of ‘doing’ mental health work in the global South, notably in contexts of poverty
  • The globalisation of psychiatry; accounts of how psychiatry travels, and of whether counter-approaches to mental health (alternative or indigenous frameworks) may travel too
  • Accounts of alternative ways of understanding health, distress and healing – counter-epistemologies and plural approaches from the global South and North.
  • Issues around colonialism, imperialism and psychiatry, and of possibilities for decolonising psychiatric practises
  • The role of the pharmaceutical industry and its connections with psychiatry – the global production, distribution and marketing of drugs – how drugs travel globally.
  • An exploration of the ethical dimensions of Global Mental Health, and who has the power to set the Global Mental Health agenda.
  • Should wellbeing and distress be addressed by health policy and medical funding, or be understood outside of a medical framework?
  • What are Global Mental Health interventions claiming to ‘treat’?
  • Is there a role for psychiatry within Global Mental Health?
  • Critical approaches to the Movement for Global Mental Health; can and should mental health be global?

We particularly welcome contributions from those who have lived experience of a psychiatric diagnosis, or of distress, and those who work in the global South, or in contents of poverty, on mental health issues. Short reports and stories, are equally encouraged alongside longer theoretical papers. Papers should be no more than 8000 words, with an abstract of 150-200 words.

Those wishing to submit an article or express an interest in contributing, please email China Mills china.t.mills@gmail.com. Manuscripts will be sent anonymously for peer review, and comments and recommendations relayed to authors through the editors. Instructions on formatting for the journal can be found here: http://dgsjournal.org/information-for-authors/

All contributions should be submitted no later than: 21st July 2013

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Next DRF: Themed Seminar What is Critical Disability Studies, and what does it mean for Practitioners? Dan Goodley and Mark Haydon -Laurelut

The next DRF will be a themed Seminar with Professor Dan Goodley (Department of Education, University of Sheffield, UK), and Mark Haydon-Laurelut (University of Portsmouth, UK), entitled:

**What is Critical Disability Studies, and what does it mean for Practitioners?**

Date: 13th February 2013 (Weds) 4.30pm-6.30pm in Arundel 10212

Slot 1: Dan Goodley (Department of Education, University of Sheffield, UK): What is critical disability studies?

Abstract: Recently there has been discussion about the emergence of critical disability studies (Campbell, 2009; Shildrick, 2009; Meekosha and Shuttleworth, 2009; Goodley, 2011; Morgan, 2012; Shildrick, 2012). In this paper I provide an inevitably partial and selective account of this trans-disciplinary space through reference to a number of emerging insights including theorizing through materialism; bodies that matter; inter/trans-sectionality; global disability studies and self and Other. I briefly disentangle these themes and suggest that while we may well start with disability we often never end with it as we engage with other transformative arenas including feminist, critical race and queer theories. Yet, a critical disability studies reminds us of the centrality of disability when we consider the politics of life itself. In this sense, then, disability becomes entangled with other forms of oppression and revolutionary responses. I will finish with some thoughts on the recent backlash to critical disability studies by some misguided critics who peddle an anti-theoretical stance while firmly holding to some implicit theories of their own.

Slot 2: Mark Haydon-Laurelut (University of Portsmouth, UK): Critical disability studies: implications for practitioner research and therapeutic practice in services for adults with intellectual disabilities

Abstract: A critical orientation unsettles clinical, therapeutic and agency practices more generally, via it’s locating objects of knowledge in these spaces such as ‘Challenging behaviour’, ‘Therapy’, or ‘Pathological demand avoidance syndrome’, as made products of particular social world. Critical disability studies (CDS) explores the creation of and resistance to disablement and disabling social worlds. In this talk I will reflect on some of the implications of my engagement with CDS as a therapist and researcher.

Venue: The seminar will be held in the Arundel Building, 122 Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB.  For a map of City Campus click here.

If you, or anybody you know, would like to present at a DRF seminar please do get in touch.  Alternatively, let us know if there is an issue/article/book you’d like to facilitate a round table discussion on.

Even if you do not intend to present, feel free to come along, listen and share your thoughts.   For lunchtime slots, please feel free to bring your own food and drink.

We aim to be accessible and have produced some guidelines of which we would like presenters to be mindful – these can be accessed here: Accessible Presenting

To offer to present, facilitate a discussion or for more detailed access information please contact: Rebecca Mallett: r.mallett@shu.ac.uk or 0114 225 4669 or Jenny Slater: j.slater@shu.ac.uk or 0114 225 6691.

 

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Dan Goodley Inaugural Lecture – 14th March, University of Sheffield

Dan Goodley Inaugural Lecture

Title: ‘The psychopathology of the normals: Why non-disabled people are so messed up around disability’

Date: 14th March 2013

Time: 5pm – 6.30pm

Place: ICOSS Conference room, University of Sheffield, Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences,219 Portobello
Sheffield
S1 4DP

Map: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.96283!/file/ICOSS_MAP-1-.pdf

Location: https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=ICOSS,+219+Portobello,+Sheffield,+S1+4DP+%4053.381080,-1.481810

Children, Familes and Young People, Disability Studies and..., Events and Conferences

Reminder of the next DRF themed seminar: Youth and Disability, Wednesday 9th Jan, 12-2

A reminder that the next DRF seminar will be on Wednesday 9th January 2013 12pm-2pm in Arundel 10111.The theme of this seminar is ‘Youth and Disability’.

Slot 1: Jenny Slater (Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University, UK): “You’re not, I mean… I know you’re not, but I have to ask, you’re not… sexually active, are you?” Youth, disability, sexuality.

Abstract:

The quote I use to frame this paper comes out of my PhD research with young disabled people. It captures the troubled and troubling response that Molly, a young disabled woman, received from a doctor when requesting the contraceptive pill on sporting grounds. Furthermore, it illustrates the dangerous tying of disability to a discourse of asexuality; a discourse which works to sustain the positioning of disabled people’s bodies as a) childlike (Hall, 2011), b) asexual (Garland-Thomson, 2002; Liddiard, 2012), and c) the property of others, to be subject to intervention (Barton, 1993; McCarthy, 1998). For young disabled people, particularly young women, this is dangerous. In this paper I share more stories from my fieldwork in order to work through messy discourses of youth, disability and sexuality.  I use these stories to question Disability Studies and, to a lesser extent, popular media normalisation of issues concerning disability, disabled youth, gender and sexuality, stressing the importance of transdisciplinary conversation.

Slot 2: Ezekiel Isanda Oweya: (Centre for Rehabilitation Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa): Experiences of African disabled youth living in rural Rift Valley to find and sustain livelihoods

 

Venue: The seminar will be held in the Arundel Building, 122 Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB.  For a map of City Campus click here.

If you, or anybody you know, would like to present at a DRF seminar please do get in touch.  Alternatively, let us know if there is an issue/article/book you’d like to facilitate a round table discussion on.

Even if you do not intend to present, feel free to come along, listen and share your thoughts.   For lunchtime slots, please feel free to bring your own food and drink.

We aim to be accessible and have produced some guidelines of which we would like presenters to be mindful – these can be accessed here: Accessible Presenting

To offer to present, facilitate a discussion or for more detailed access information please contact: Rebecca Mallett: r.mallett@shu.ac.uk or 0114 225 4669 or Jenny Slater: j.slater@shu.ac.uk or 0114 225 6691.