Special Careif Issue

Editorial – Rachel Tribe, Dinesh Bhugra & Shanaya Rathod

Original Paper – Simon Dein, Albert Persaud, Rachel Tribe, Dinesh Bhugra, Kam Bhui, Myrna Lashley, Anil Thapliyal, Yasmin Khatib, Sunil Rathod, Marie Gabriel, Shanaya Rathod, Jenny Willis, Mario H. Braakman, Fuad Iraqi, Leslie Swartz, Jisraj Singh Gataora, Laurens G. Van Sluytman, Diana Bass, Fred Bemak, Sokratis Dinos, Geraint Day,  Seamus Watson , Erica Crompton & Rita Chi-Ying Chung

To date the literature on religion and mental health has focused upon Christianity. We cannot assume that these findings can be transposed onto other faith groups. In this paper I focus upon Islam, Judaism and Hinduism and discuss understandings of mental illness and the relationships between central beliefs and mental health. I discuss implications for clinical work and psychotherapy.

Original Paper – Shanaya Rathod, Albert Persaud, Farooq Naeem, Narsimha Pinninti, Rachel Tribe, Özlem Eylem, Paul Gorczynski, Peter Phiri, Nusrat Husain, Saadia Muzaffar & Muhammad Irfan

The preponderance of western psychological concepts are often relied upon to conceptualise health-related phenomena. It is hardly surprising therefore that despite the availability of a number of interventions, studies have concluded that outcomes for minority cultural groups are not as good as for Caucasian people (western Europe and North America) in many high and middle income countries (HMIC). The evidence base of most psychosocial interventions is yet to be established in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs). There has been a propensity in some quarters to view low and middle income countries as passive beneficiaries of mental health knowledge, rather than as contributors or partners in knowledge production and development. A move towards a more equal bilateral relationship is called for, which should lead to better service provision. This Position Statement aims to highlight the current position and need for culturally adapted interventions. It is a global call for action to achieve a standardised mechanism to achieve parity of access and outcomes across all cultural groups regardless of country of residence.

Original Paper – Albert Persaud, N. Yoganathan, Jenny Willis, Erica Crompton & Myrna Lashley

Over the millennia, humans have struggled to understand mental illness. Despite scientific advances, we remain perplexed by the diversity and subjectivity of psychiatric disorders. The way that psychological distress or mental illness is understood and subsequently labelled has a number of consequences for the individual, their family and the wider society in which they live, which may also have relevance for how stigma is attributed and experienced. The labelling used may affect the way service users may feel about and internalise their health status. This labelling may also affect the successive actions taken as a result of the descriptors used and the ‘resources’ subsequently allocated. Industrialised societies have become materially sophisticated, but there is still extensive stigma attached to human diversity, including mental illness, despite diversity being an essential part of nature. Humans have evolved from simple to complex biological beings, living in increasingly large and varied societies. As human complexity grows, so, inevitably, does the diversity of individual experience within these groups. However, for a social group to survive and minimise chaos, agreed rules and regulations are necessary. These reflect the values and beliefs of the larger group and change over time. Those who reject or rebel against group norms (e.g. Hall and Jefferson, 1976), or are unable to respond effectively to accepted norms, may be stigmatised and either marginalised, persecuted or forced into acceptance (e.g. Corrigan and Watson, 2007). Fear, isolation and anxiety may underpin these processes (Corrigan and Watson, 2002).

Original Paper – Albert Persaud, Rachel Tribe, Dinesh Bhugra, Kam Bhui, Ines Testoni, Charles Pace, Yasmin Kathib,  Laurens G. Van Sluytman, Shanaya Rathod, Jenny Willis & Peter Dowd

Original Paper – Albert Persaud, Rachel Tribe, Dinesh Bhugra, Kam Bhui, Shanaya Rathod & Jenny Willis

People have moved from one place to another within the same country or across national borders for millennia. The reasons for such movements have varied, as does the duration for which people migrate. With globalisation and global connections across countries, migration has increased. The process of migration and its impact on the mental health of individuals has been and will remain heterogeneous. The responses of migrants to the process vary, depending upon a number of factors. Individuals may migrate individually, with their families or in groups. They may move to avoid political or religious persecution and seek political asylum in another country (forced migration) or migrate for personal, employment, economic or educational reasons (voluntary migration). Although these two categorisations are often a little more complex than this. Not all migrants will feel negatively affected by migration. People may migrate on a seasonal, recurrent, permanent or temporary basis. It may be within or across generations. Many migrants will never access mental health services, whilst others may use these in varying ways and with diverse requirements or presentations. The experiences and requirements of voluntary and involuntary migrants may differ. Mental health Services may need to ensure that they are accessible and appropriate to all members of society including those who have migrated. This paper makes some suggestions in relation to this.