Event: Monday 28th February – Starting from the Bottom: critical perspectives on mental health and social justice

Starting from the Bottom: critical perspectives on mental health and social justice

The global burden of mental distress continues to grow, shaped by gaps in services. In low-middle income countries (LMICs), 90% of the population lacks access to any form of mental health care. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these challenges as intersecting social realities deepen distress, increase the incidence of mental health disorders, and overburden health systems. Stigma towards the mentally ill co-exist with inequity in access to opportunities, rights and recognition. When it comes to mental health care, scaling-up services is important but not enough.

Rochelle Burgess is an Associate Professor in Global Health and Deputy Director of the UCL Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases, at the Institute for Global Health at UCL. She is interested in the promotion of community approaches to health globally, and views communities as a route to understanding and responding to the political economy of poor health, with a particular emphasis on the impacts of broader development issues such as poverty, gender, systems of governance, and community mobilisation (civil society).

Maria Cecilia Dedios is an Associate Professor at the Los Andes University School of Government. Her work focuses on the relationship between social cognition, context, and culture, with an emphasis on youth violence, armed conflict, and mental health. In her work, María Cecilia predominantly uses qualitative and participatory methods at the community level, to inform public programs and policies.

Federico Montes is a signatory of the Final Peace Agreement between the FARC guerillas and the Colombian Government. As a member of the Coombuvipac Cooperative, he has been involved in planning and designing reincorporation processes for ex combatants at the local level. He is currently a member of the Comunes political party, and has been selected by them to be a delegate in the Commission for Monitoring, Promotion and Verification of the Implementation of the AFP (Final Peace Agreement).

Maxine Molyneux is Professor of Sociology and Director of the UCL Institute of the Americas until April 2014. Her current research is on the transformations of welfare systems in Latin America, citizen participation and accountability in social protection in Latin America; and the history and politics of Latin American feminism.