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Global Mental Health
PSYC 267
Spring 2019
Section: 01  

During the past half-century, mental health professionals have increasingly explored the international reach and cross-cultural relevance of their work. Practitioners have traveled from country to country in order to work with local populations, including those experiencing traumatic circumstances such as war and natural disasters. Professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association have developed guidelines and recommendations for multicultural competence. Researchers have investigated the cross-cultural epidemiology and expression of mental health challenges; for example, according to the World Health Organization, one in four people across the globe will experience a mental disorder at some point in their lives.

What does it mean to establish the global prevalence of mental disorders? Is psychological distress, including the distress that results from traumatic exposure, experienced and interpreted in the same way in all cultural contexts? While some scholars have argued that mental disorders are a global epidemic requiring a uniform, universal response, others have suggested that the exportation of psychological discourse and approaches from Western countries has eclipsed local expressions of distress and indigenous healing traditions. This course will explore these questions and controversies using the tools and frameworks of multicultural psychology. We will place particular emphasis on the social, cultural, structural, and environmental determinants of mental health. We will address mental health disparities between high- and low-income countries, as well as the meanings of psychiatric explanatory models in advantaged and disadvantaged communities. Populations of focus will include migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons, and the urban homeless. Throughout the course, we will explore the growing research in the field of indigenous psychology, which promotes local knowledge, as well as the structural competency movement, which emphasizes the socio-institutional origins of health disparities.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS PSYC
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: PSYC105
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PSYC)
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on JUL-20-2024
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