Human rights

Vikram Patel is Professor of International Mental Health, and a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. For most of the year he is based in Goa working with Sangath, a local NGO of which he is a co-founder, and the Public Health Foundation of India. In this, his second post for ThInk, he proposes that mental health care in some of the world’s most developed countries could learn valuable lessons from new initiatives being employed in some of its poorest.

JAKARTA, 14 February 2013 (IRIN) - Indonesia is seeking to boost its community mental health services in an effort to end the lockdown and shackling of thousands of mental health patients.

“The practice of shackling mentally-ill people still exists and eliminating it is one of our priorities for 2013,” Diah Setia Utami, director of mental health at the Health Ministry, told IRIN, noting that the country’s “serious” shortage of mental health professionals has been one of the biggest obstacles.

The government aims to provide 30 percent of the country’s 9,000 community health clinics and 1,700 general hospitals with staff to provide basic mental health care by 2014, Utami said.

The Health Ministry estimates 19 million people nationwide have various mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression, and another one million have severe psychoses.

Currently, 33 specialized mental health hospitals and 600 psychiatrists offer public mental health care. “These hospitals are adequately equipped to treat mental patients, but in the future, patients will be encouraged to have treatment outside [the] hospital under the care of families and community caregivers,” Utami added.

Filmmaker and physician Delaney Ruston grew up under the shadow of her dad’s illness, schizophrenia. While reconnecting with him after years of estrangement, (as seen in the award winning PBS documentary Unlisted: A Story of Schziophrenia) Ruston became interested in the experiences of other families around the globe. How are people accepted or rejected? What is mental health care like? Given that the WHO that 450 million people worldwide have a mental illness, why do we rarely hear about their lives?

Ruston takes us on her journey to answer these questions, uncovering personal stories in India, China, South Africa, France, and the US. What emerges are scenes of profound frustration, moments of true compassion, and haunting insights. The journey ends by exploring the force of change that individuals are bringing about, including actress Glenn Close’s movement to fight stigma.

HIDDEN PICTURES is the first feature documentary on global mental health. Artistically crafted, with unforgettable characters, this powerful film will bring needed dialogue to a vastly neglected field.

The Stars in Global Health program enables innovators in low- and lower-middle-income countries and the Canadian International Development Agencies (CIDA) ‘Countries of Focus’ as well as in Canada, to develop their bold ideas with big impact to improve global health conditions.

The program was developed to tap into innovative ideas from leaders in global health and consists of proof-of-concept awards of $100,000 CAD as Phase I grants, and Phase II Transition to Scale funding to successful applicants for up to $1,000,000 CAD.

Proposed innovations must address complex real-world challenges using an Integrated Innovationapproach. Integrated Innovation is the coordinated application of scientific/technological, social and business innovation to develop solutions to complex challenges. For more information, including the white paper, click here

Since July 2011, Grand Challenges Canada has approved over 100 Phase I proof-of-concept grants, each at $100,000 CAD. These projects run across the whole spectrum of global health, from drug discovery, vaccine development, health and medical education, maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases (including cancer), health-related water and agriculture, information communication technologies and behavioural change.

Phase I grantees who have completed a minimum of nine months of their Grand Challenges Canada grant, completed their proof-of-concept projects and will have solutions that are ready to transition to scale are invited to submit Phase II Transition to Scale proposals. Phase II Transition to Scale grants will require 50% matching through partnerships to be eligible for Grand Challenges Canada funding.

Round 5 Phase I – Proposal Deadline is February 6, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. ET

This article is a trip through the current mental health field of Africa in 28 recent articles from 14 African countries. With 28 links to articles and a few pictures.

Mental health facilities, legislation and capacity building on the African continent are amongst the poorest of the world. But there are improvements, developments and off course many many challenges left.

On October 10 2012 it’s the 20th Anniversary of the World Mental Health Day. The African continent could use some extra attention on this day.

The leader of the main Labour opposition party in the UK has described mental health as the "biggest unadressed health challenge of our age".  This important position by a leadig politician was taken in part following recent negative use of language around mental health used by well known personalities in the UK media.

 Prof. Vikram Patel speaks at TEDGlobal2012 about the large treatment gap for mental disorders, particularly in developing countries, and potential strategies for bridging the gulf in mental health care. TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, formed to disseminate ‘ideas worth spreading’.


British television Icon, Ruby Wax, opens up about her depression in a new, cutting-edge documentary. She also supports three successful businesspeople as they disclose a mental health condition to their colleagues and friends, and meets two brave MPs who recently spoke about their battles with depression in the House of Commons. In addition, this pioneering documentary sheds light on the prejudice, enshrined in law, against people with mental illness. It will be screen on 23rd July at 10pm on UK Channel 4.

MANILA, Philippines -- Broadcast journalist Bernadette Sembrano examines how the government is attending to the needs of the mentally ill in tonight's episode of "Krusada."Replica Watches

“We often forget that there are people with mental illnesses who need sufficient medical attention. We should re-evaluate if medicine and hospital confinement are their only options for their cure,” she said.

Sembrano has been actively engaged in missions that benefit the mentally ill with her involvement with ABS-CBN Foundation’s Sagip Kapamilya.

Due to her experience with Sagip Kapamilya, Sembrano has also fought for the improvement of the conditions of mental facilities in the country. There may be existing psychiatric units and day-treatment centers, but most of them are located in Metro Manila and cannot be accessed by patients in rural areas, she pointed out.
“Krusada,” which is nominated in the Social Issues/Current Events category at the prestigious 2012 New York Festivals International Television and Film Awards, airs on Thursday, February 16, after “Bandila” on ABS-CBN, or earlier on DZMM TeleRadyo (SkyCable Channel 26) at 9:15 p.m.


Stars in Global Health

This unique program enables innovators in low- and lower-middle-income countries and Canada to develop their bold idea with big impact to improve global health conditions.

We are seeking ideas that reflect the full spectrum of global health including drug discovery, medical devices and diagnostics, vaccine development, health and medical education, maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases (including mental health and cancer), information communication technologies, health-related water and sanitation, and agriculture.

Awards are initially valued at $100,000 CAD for up to 12-18 months to demonstrate proof-of-concept of the idea. Upon successful review of proposals at 12-18 months after the initial award is granted, scale-up grants of up to $1 million CAD may be awarded with potential linkages to private sector investments.

We are looking for innovative ideas to address complex real-world challenges that involve a scientific or technological solution (new or existing) alone or in combination with social and/or business innovations. We call this approach Integrated Innovation.

From a Social Innovation perspective – are there social innovations (including health systems, the determinants of health, ethical/social/cultural/legal frameworks, public policies, leadership and human resources among others) that will be necessary to bring the scientific/technological solutions that are developed to scale in local communities in an appropriate manner?

From a Business Innovation perspective – are there appropriate business systems in place to produce and deliver the scientific/technological solution at an affordable pricepoint?

Application Deadline: September 5, 2012 3:00 p.m. EDT