17. sep, 2021

Beyond psychocentrism: contextualizing mental health through a case study on indigenous youth suici

MPH-alumnus and laureate John De Maesschalck (Belgium) will present his master thesis, entitled “PREVENTING SUICIDE IN INDIGENOUS YOUTH - Insights from a scoping review to prevent indigenous youth suicide in the Andes region”. Register here: 


Mental health has gained welcoming importance on the global health agenda over the last decades. Yet, the latest report of the UN Special Rapporteur on mental health highlights the ongoing prominence of the biomedical model and the biased use of a Eurocentric and psychiatric knowledge base in developing interventions.
Through a case study on indigenous youth suicide, John’s master thesis will be the starting point for a critical exchange on the importance of context and local knowledge systems for dealing with distress and how this translates in policy development. The Q&A-session, moderated by John’s thesis coach and mental health expert Willem van de Put, will enable to share topical experiences in other international settings. How is wellbeing and distress understood in your settings? Who has the power to define that and whose voices are left unheard? What are the strengths and limitations of the global mental health “evidence base”?