Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Society for Psychological Anthropology
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students
Primary Theme: Resilience
Secondary Theme: Health
Recent years have seen the emergence of anthropological perspectives on the field of Global Mental Health. A rich interdisciplinary conversation has emerged among the fields of anthropology, public health, epidemiology, psychology, psychiatry, and other social and biological sciences. Nevertheless, clinical and public health-oriented discussions often overlook the role of “lived experience,” or the everyday experiences of people in distress and those who care for them, in understanding mental health, “extraordinary conditions,” and mental health care in global context (Jenkins 2015). Anthropology’s inherent privileging of lived experience in methods, concepts, and theoretical frameworks presents an opportunity to further contribute to this conversation. An experiential focus on mental health in various cross-cultural contexts can reveal the inner workings of resistance and resilience among individuals and communities faced with a variety of social challenges. Efforts to compare strategies of resistance and resilience may prove fruitful for informing interventions (or advocating for non-intervention). The goal of this panel is to consider resistance, resilience, and experience in mental health care settings across a variety of social contexts (Mexico, indigenous groups, India, Haiti, Congolese asylum seekers, Tanzania, etc.). In doing so, we seek to carefully attend to the voices of people with lived experience of distress, caretakers, community members, mental health care providers, and other healers ("traditional" and religious leaders, peers) with whom we work in order to extend notions of what constitutes mental health care and how it might best be provided in global context.