Global Mental Health 101: A Canadian Practicum Experience in Kenya

Publication date: 
2 June 2013

In writing my next blog post I realized that a good number of my readers may have not talked to me about my degree or may just need a crash course in order to understand my passion and what I am talking about.  So welcome to my version of Global Mental Health 101.

Let me break it down and start with some basic definitions and distinctions as well as my two cents.  Then I’m going to slip in slightly revised parts of my practicum plan (with references) for your information.

I am completing my master in public health.  No, I am not a nurse.  I am not a doctor.  I am not a clinician.  Public Health is a field that focuses, not on the health of specific individuals, but of the health of populations. This means that public health professionals work in the planning, evaluation and motoring of health programs and services as well as health policy and health system reform. Public health also has the tendency to focus on preventative services that prevent people from getting sick rather than curative services that treat people once they sick.  In looking at health from a preventative stand point more and more attention has begun to be paid to the social determinants of health. These social determinants of health recognize there is more to health than simple biology and anatomy...