University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Critical perspectives on mental health and well-being in the global south (PGSP11377)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course has two aims: to provide students with an understanding of key theoretical, conceptual and policy debates related to mental health and well-being in the 'global south' and to examine how these debates shape public health and development interventions that address mental health and well-being. The course draws on inter-disciplinary perspective integrating relevant knowledge from cultural psychiatry, medical anthropology, development studies, public health, and social work. Teaching will make use of case studies of innovative programmes, national and international policy reports, and ethnographic data from diverse contexts.

Sessions are divided into three blocks. The first block (sessions 1-3) will develop conceptual perspectives to help students assess the relevance, scope and importance of mental health and well-being. This will focus on a culturally contextualized exploration of key concepts including 'mental health', 'well-being' and 'mental illness', consideration of the social and cultural determinants that shape both mental health & well-being, and cross-cultural perspectives on illness experience.

The second block (sessions 4-6) will deploy these conceptual understandings to analyse and critique policy efforts to internationalize and globalize ideas about mental health, drawing on research and policy material from specific regions. These sessions will examine the relationship between 'community' and 'mental health' in national and international mental health policies, trace the emergence of the 'global mental health' movement, and consider the role of human rights and service-user/ 'survivor' movements in globalizing mental health.

The third block (sessions 7-10) will discuss ways of addressing mental health and well-being from a 'local' perspective through the use of relevant case studies from a variety of regional contexts. These sessions will develop critical perspectives on issues in humanitarian and conflict settings, the relationships between mental health, well-being and development, working with marginal and stigmatized populations, and the potential for innovation grounded in local concerns and 'community participation'.
Course description Block 1: Conceptual understandings of mental health and well-being

1. Contested categories: contextualizing 'mental health' and 'well-being' in diverse contexts
2. Social & cultural determinants of mental health and well-being
3. Subjectivity, language and experience: cross-cultural perspectives on 'distress' and 'well-being'

Block 2: Globalizing mental health research and policy

4. 'Communities' and 'mental health': historical and contemporary perspectives
5. The rise of the 'global mental health' movement and critiques: the link between 'evidence' and policy initiatives
6. Human rights, advocacy and service user movements: global perspectives

Block 3: Addressing mental health and well-being practice in diverse settings

7. Mental health and well-being in areas of conflict: case studies
8. Mental health, well-being and development: (how) are they related?
9. Mental health, well-being and stigma in marginal populations
10. Local innovations in policy and practice: from 'global' to 'local mental health'
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course is assessed by the following:

- 20% of the course grade will be awarded for student presentations. These will be based on analysis of case studies, policy documents or research articles. Feedback will be formative to the essay.

- 80% for a 3,000-word essay on a topic related to the course theme.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. critically understanding of the historically and culturally contextualized nature of 'mental health', 'well-being' and related concepts
  2. demonstrate conceptual understandings of how cultural and social factors shape mental health and well-being in the 'global south'
  3. critically engage with current policy and academic debates on 'local' and 'global' approaches to addressing mental health and well-being
  4. apply knowledge to critically analyse innovative policies and practice that address mental health and well-being in the 'global south'
Reading List
Bibeau, G. 1997. "Cultural Psychiatry in a Creolizing World: Questions for a New Research Agenda". Transcultural Psychiatry. 34 (1): 9-41.

Campbell C, and R Burgess (Editors). 2012. "Special section: Communities and Global Mental Health". Transcultural Psychiatry. 49 (3-4): 379-518.

Collins PY, V Patel, SS Joestl, D March, TR Insel, AS Daar, W Anderson, et al. 2011. "Grand challenges in global mental health". Nature. 475 (7354): 27-30.

Desjarlais, Robert R. et al. 1995. World mental health: problems, and priorities in low-income countries. New York: Oxford University Press.

Drew, Natalie, Edwige Faydi, Melvyn Freeman, Michelle Funk, Audrey Kettaneh, and Mark Van Ommeren. 2010. Mental health and development: targeting people with mental health conditions as a vulnerable group. [Geneva, Switzerland]: World Health Organization.

Jadhav, Sushrut, and Maan Barua. 2012. "The Elephant Vanishes: Impact of human-elephant conflict on people's wellbeing". Health and Place. 18 (6): 1356-1365.

Lund C, A Breen, AJ Flisher, R Kakuma, J Corrigall, JA Joska, L Swartz, and V Patel. 2010. "Poverty and common mental disorders in low and middle income countries: A systematic review". Social Science & Medicine. 71 (3): 517-28.

Patel V. 2012. "Global mental health: from science to action". Harvard Review of Psychiatry. 20 (1).

Summerfield D. 2008. "How scientifically valid is the knowledge base of global mental health?" British Medical Journal. 336 (7651): 992-994.

White, Sarah C. 2010. "Analysing wellbeing: a framework for development practice". Development in Practice. 20 (2): 158-172.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sumeet Jain
Tel: (0131 6)51 1463
Course secretaryMr Jack Smith
Tel: (0131 6)51 1485
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information