Author Archives: in2mentalhealth

Global Mental Health News

Info from and between mental health workers, NGO’s, institutes, and others who are interested in improving mental health in low and middle income countries. Special attention for ehealth, elearning, ict4d

Is the Global Mental Health Field in 2013 showered with too much meetings?

To mention a couple of Global Mental Health and international Psychiatry conferences this year:
1. May 31 Amsterdam, Europe: Cultural Psychiatry and Global Mental Health Symposium,
2. June 19-23 Istanbul, Turkey, Europe: World Psychiatric Association International Congress,
3. August 5-7 the Gold Coast, Australia: The 14th International Mental Health Conference,
4. 21-22 August Bangkok, Thailand, Asia: 3rd Global Mental Health Summit of the Movement for GMH,
5. August 25-28 Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America: World Mental Health Congress of the World Federation for Mental Health,
6. September 27-28 London, UK: CGMH Conference: Sustainable development through global action: The case for investing in mental health,
7.October 3-4 Lisbon, Portugal, Europe: First high-level technical meeting of The Gulbenkian Global Mental Health Platform,
8. October 27-30 Vienna, Austria, Europe: World Psychiatric Association (WPA) International Congress.
How much will this cost? I dare not to count (I’m always worried that more money is going to travel, hotels and meetings than to capacity building in the global mental health field).
Will there be new info and new attendees? Or are the same people traveling and listening to each others presentations over and over again? Would we be better off with one big international meeting each year? Each two years? Or offer these different meetings in different corners of the world better opportunities?
Would it be better to organize such meetings in a low income country in stead of Europe or Australia?
Is it fair to organize conferences about global mental health without funding for people from low and middle income countries?
What do you think?

Where is Mental Health on the Global agenda’s? Vote!

Where is Mental Health in the NCDs (Non Communicable Diseases), the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), the UHC (Universal Health Coverage) movement, or the Post-2015 Development Agenda? And what are the current developments in policies and the new Worldwide plans and priorities? And where can we exert our influence?
Harry Minas and Jan-Paul Kwasik have been writing an excellent article about this called ‘The Post-2015 Development Agenda’. Full text (about 2 pages) is available at the Movement for Global Mental Health website. Great read; in 5 minutes you are up to date.
They call for more action from stakeholders in global mental health too. They urge people to vote at the World We Want 2015 website: After signing up (make an account), click on ‘Add Your Voice’. Or at the My World 2015 website: Without signing up (so, you don’t have to make an account) choose 5 priorities from the list and important!: use the ‘suggest a priority (optional)’ at the bottom of the list of priorities. Here you can add ‘Mental Health’ as your number 6.

Release of the DSM-5 in 2 weeks. The debate goes on.

The release of DSM-5 will take place during the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2013 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, May 18-22, 2013.
The DSM-5 is the fifth edition of the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It’s the most widely used classification system in mental health worldwide and it’s used or relied upon by clinicians, researchers, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and policy makers, etc.
The APA runs a special DSM-5 website, where you can find all kind of background information.
Since the first DSM publication in 1952, the manual has always attracted praise, controversy and criticism. You can find a nice overview of all this criticism in the Wikipedia DSM page.
A few very recent articles and comments are:
April 24, David Adam in Nature: ‘Mental health: On the spectrum’. ‘Research suggests that mental illnesses lie along a spectrum, but the field’s latest diagnostic manual still splits them apart’.
April 29, Thomas Insel, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) USA: ‘Transforming Diagnosis’. ‘The DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure’ and ‘That is why NIMH will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories’.
May 4, John Horgan, Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHRint): Psychiatry in Crisis! Mental Health Director Rejects Psychiatric “Bible” and Replaces With… Nothing, ‘Instead of forming fancy new programs and initiatives and alliances, leaders in mental health should perhaps do some humble, honest soul searching before they decide how to proceed’.
May 6, David Kupfer in Psychiatric News Alert: ‘David Kupfer, M.D., Responds to Criticism of DSM-5 by NIMH Director’. With a link to the the complete text of Kupfer’s statement.
May 6, Pam Belluck and Benedict Carey in The New York Times: Psychiatry’s Guide Is Out of Touch With Science, Experts Say.
Will be continued….

My 13 takeaways of the 3rd Malawi Mental Health Research and Practice Development Conference

The conference: This 3rd annual Malawi Mental Health Research and Practice Conference took place on 22-23 April 2013 at the Saint John of God College of Health Sciences in Mzuzu, Northern Malawi. The event was organized by the St. John of God College, the Department of Mental Health College of Medicine Malawi University, and the Scotland-Malawi Mental Health Education Project (SMMHEP). Continue reading

New list: Mental Health and MHPSS manuals for Non-Specialized Settings

Yesterday, I posted a new list on the in2mentalhealth website. It’s a compilation of all the online available and hard copy intervention/program manuals I know.
The Link: More then 20 Mental Health and MHPSS Manuals for Non-Specialized Settings.
The list starts with a couple of links to free downloads and (not free) hard copies of interventions/program manuals for general mental health care. Then a few in the MHPSS (Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support) field. And the last few manuals are focused on care and programs for children.
If you know other manuals or relevant information please comment on this post or email: in2mentalhealth@gmail.

More then 30 Mental Health and MHPSS Manuals for Non-Specialized Settings

Attention: Due to time constraints, I was forced to stop updating this list by the end of 2016. The information will be outdated soon. Sorry, I hope you will find your information elsewhere on the internet.

In low resource settings general health workers and lay people will provide a large part of the mental health care. This list starts with a couple of links to free downloads and (not free) hard copies of interventions/program manuals for general mental health care. Then a few in the MHPSS field (Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support). And the last few manuals are focused on care for children. Continue reading

Today audio/video livestreaming of ‘The Global Mental Health Crisis’ by Vikram Patel

Today, 10th Apr 2013 6:00-7:15pm (BST, London time), keynote presentation by Vikram Patel at the RSA, London, UK.
His presentation is called ‘The Global Mental Health Crisis: What the rich world can learn from the poor’: How to address the large gaps in access to mental health care in developing countries? Vikram Patel argues for the model of community-based intervention that prevails in the developing world to be utilized as a template for the developed one.
You can listen and watch this event live online. Use the links on the event website. You can check your time at 6pm BST here with the time zone converter.

This is my voice! The World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP) project and survey

picWNUSPThe WNUSP is an international representative network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry. Building on the success of the past decade, WNUSP embarks on a project to further build their global movement. It is called ‘Strengthen Our Voices!’.
During this first quarter of 2013, WNUSP is sending out a questionnaire and asking members of the movement what their opinions and views are. You can download the WNUSP 2013 Survey here. Please send it back to wgwnusp2013@gmail.com.
The information that you give will assist this important global network towards more strength and growth.

in2mhconnect launched today, read blog post about it

Today this in2mhconnect website is launched as a new connect and discuss platform for people involved or interested in global mental health.
You can read more about the whole process behind this site in the in2mentalhealth blog post: ‘How to reach the unconnected? in2mhconnect is on the air’.
You can read ‘HOW TO GET SMS/TEXT OR EMAIL UPDATES? HOW TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION?’ in the information pages here on this site.
Hope to have a lot of interactions here!
Roos Korste

Eight encounters with Mental Health care Kenya

In January 2013, I had the opportunity to extent my stay in Kenya, after providing a MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières, Doctors Without Borders) mental health and basic counseling training for a group of Somali nurses in Nairobi. After these 2 weeks training I arranged a couple of visits and interviews with people working in, or using/surviving, mental health services in Kenya Continue reading