31. dec, 2020

Context and culture in global mental health

interesting editorial about the local silencing of culture and its impact on mental health policy in Brazil, and the epistemic alienation created by globally defined self-assessments tools in Chile.

In this editorial for BMJ Global Mental Health, Cristian Montenegro and Francisco Ortega aim to "unsettle and expand the relatively circumscribed place given to culture and context in global mental health." And they do so brillantly, pointing out that the impementation of global ideas can push out the local realities and local strengths to deal with specific contexts. "Think Global, Act Local" does not always work in mental health implementation models. "It is important for global (mental) health to recognise that culture and context are internally contested, and that their meaning and relevance are rooted in local history and identity. Critical concerns about exporting knowledge and practices need to be supplemented with a careful examination of the internal complexity of culture and context and how they are made visible and negotiated alongside global and local policy ambitions.". Indeed!