Decolonizing Global Mental Health
The psychiatrization of the majority world
By China Mills
Routledge – 2014 – 178 pages
Series: Concepts for Critical Psychology
Decolonizing Global Mental Health is a book that maps a strange irony. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Movement for Global Mental Health are calling to ‘scale up’ access to psychological and psychiatric treatments globally, particularly within the global South. Simultaneously, in the global North, psychiatry and its often chemical treatments are coming under increased criticism (from both those who take the medication and those in the position to prescribe it).
The book argues that it is imperative to explore what counts as evidence within Global Mental Health, and seeks to de-familiarize current ‘Western’ conceptions of psychology and psychiatry using postcolonial theory. It leads us to wonder whether we should call for equality in global access to psychiatry, whether everyone should have the right to a psychotropic citizenship and whether mental health can, or should, be global. As such, it is ideal reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as researchers in the fields of critical psychology and psychiatry, social and health psychology, cultural studies, public health and social work.
Introduction De-familiarising GMH: a methodology of Encounters 1. Making Mental Health a Reality for All 2. ‘Harvesting Despair’ –Suicide Notes to the State and Psychotropics in the post 3. Educating, Marketing, Mongering 4. The Turn / The Look: Interpellating the Mad Colonial Subject 5. ‘Necessary evils’: When torture is treatment and violence is normal 6. Sly Normality: Between Quiescence and Revolt 7. Decolonising Global Mental Health
China Mills is a researcher at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at the University of Oxford. Her research interests span interdisciplinary approaches to exploring the interconnections between Global Mental Health, psychiatry, the pharmaceutical industry and colonialism.