Globalising Western 'mental health': psychiatry, spirits, ancestors and poverty


16:00 - 17:15

This week in our virtual CRESIDA seminar series, Dr Derek Summerfield from the Institute of Psychiatry will be presenting a talk titled "Globalising Western 'mental health': psychiatry, spirits, ancestors and poverty. Case studies from UK, Zimbabwe, Cambodia".  Zoom details:


The ongoing globalisation of Western psychiatry and psychology trades on universalistic assumptions about 'mind'. These are at odds with the varying mentalities and interpretations of adversity that shape the worlds of non-Western people worldwide, as do the everyday imperatives of poverty. This is a form of imperialism, and Western-style counselling the new missionary activity. I will examine the practical consequences of this globalisation, using examples like 'schizophrenia' and 'depression', in my native Zimbabwe, UK and Cambodia.