Mental Health Discussion


  1. Discuss why it is relevant to consider ethnic differences when understanding and addressing Mental Health.
  2. Analyze how a specific ethnic community experiences a particular mental health condition and its relationship to culture.
  3. Discuss why Migration can be considered as a Social Determinant of Mental Health.
  4. Based on the problems analyzed in the readings and considering your perspective, which psychosocial interventions could help improve migrants’ and refugees’ mental health in the host countries?
  5. What lessons can we take from the COVID-19 pandemic to approach mental health from a biopsychosocial perspective?

After selecting the three questions elaborate an integrated essay based on the readings discussed in class. Develop arguments that help you to articulate the discussion among the three questions addressed in the essay. Cite at least two sources of information from the syllabus (additionally you can also include academic sources out of the syllabus).


Introduction. 10 points

The writer’s central objective is readily apparent for the reader. State clear which questions you will be addressing in the essay.

Body. 70 points

The arguments developed in the body are well-sustained. The student discusses the authors’ perspective and also express his/her own reflections, understandings and analysis based on the readings reviewed.

Balanced presentation of relevant and legitimate information that clearly supports the three questions is present and shows a thoughtful analysis of the themes proposed in the midterm.

The ideas are arranged logically to support the essay’s objective. They flow smoothly from one to another and are clearly linked to each other. The reader can follow the line of reasoning. Sentences are well-phrased and varied in length and structure.

Conclusion. 10 points. 

A clear and relevant conclusion sentence that summarizes the points made in the essay is present.

Citation and Bibliography. 5 points

Citations and bibliography are made in the appropriate format (following the APA style) for each piece of evidence given in the essay. At least two sources from the syllabus are cited. All the sources that appear in the references where the same that appear cited along the document.

Grammar, spelling and extension. 5 points

Essay format.

Times New Roman 12

Doubled spaced

Cover is not needed

APA style for citations and bibliography (only)

Here is the class readings below (make sure you use those sources not an outside sources please)

White R., Orr D., Read U. and Jain S. 2017. Situating Global Mental Health: Sociocultural Perspectives. pp. 1-16. In White R., Jain S., Orr D. and Read U. (eds.). The Palgrave Handbook of Sociocultural Perspectives on Global Mental Health. Palgrave Macmillan.

Historical Perspectives on Mental Health: Asia, Africa and the West


Pinto S.A. 2018. Indian Insanity and the Local-Colonial Contest for its Treatment. In: Lunatic Asylums in Colonial Bombay. Mental Health in Historical Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Harding Christopher. 2017. Historical Reflections on Mental Health and Illness: India, Japan and the West. pp. 71-92. In White R., Jain S., Orr D. and Read U. (eds.). The Palgrave Handbook of Sociocultural Perspectives on Global Mental Health. Palgrave Macmillan.

Akyeampong Emmanuel. 2015. A Historical Overview of Psychiatry in Africa. pp. 24-49. In Akyeampong, Hill and Kleinman (eds.). The Culture of Mental Illness and Psychiatric Practice in Africa. Indiana University Press.

Anthropological Perspectives on Mental Health

15 Psychiatry from an Anthropological Perspective

Arthur Kleinman. 1988. Rethinking Psychiatry:  From Cultural Category to Personal Experience. The Free Press. (Chapters 1 and 2: What is a Psychiatric Diagnosis? Do Psychiatric Disorders differ in different Cultures? pp. 5-33).

22 Critical Reflections on Mental Health

Whitley Rob. Beyond Critique: Rethinking Roles for the Anthropology of Mental Health. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry (2014) 38: 499-511. DOI 10.1007/s11013-014-9382-y

Dyck E. and Rusell G. 2020. Challenging Psychiatry Classification: Healthy Autistic Diversity and the Neurodiversity Movement. In Taylor S. and Brumby A. Healthy Minds in the Twentieth Century. In and Beyond the Asylum.

Gavin Miller. 2017. Reflecting on Medicalization of Distress. pp. 93-108. In White R., Jain S., Orr D. and Read U. (eds.). The Palgrave Handbook of Sociocultural Perspectives on Global Mental Health. Palgrave Macmillan.

29 Mental Health and Experience

Jenkins, Janis H.  2015. Extraordinary Conditions:  Culture and Experience in Mental Illness. University of California Press.  (Introduction).

Luhrmann Tanya and Marrow Jocelyn. 2016. Our Most Troubling Madness. Cases in Schizophrenia across Cultures. University of California Press. (Introduction)

Social/Cultural dimensions of Mental Health/Illness 


6 Religion and Spirituality

Csordas, T. 2017. Psychiatry and the Sweat Lodge: Therapeutic Resources for Native American Adolescents. pp. 127-139. In Basu H., Littlewood R., and Steinforth A. (eds.) Spirit and Mind: Mental Health at the Intersection of Religion and Psychiatry. Lit. Verlag Dr. W. Hopf.

Khoury N., Kaiser B., Keys H. and Brewster A. Explanatory Models and Mental Health Treatment: Is Vodou an Obstacle to Psychiatric Treatment in Rural Haiti? Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry (2012) 36: 514-534. DOI 10.1007/s11013-012-9270-2

13 Ethnic Differences 

Zeledon I., West A., Antony V., Telles V., Begay C., Henderson B., Unger J., Soto C. Statewide collaborative partnership among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities in California to target the opioid epidemic: Preliminary results of the Tribal Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) key informant needs assessment. Journal of Susbstance Abuse Treatment108 (2020) 9-19.

O’Nell Teresa D. Culture and Pathology. Flathead Loneliness Revisited. The 2001 Roger Allan Moore Lecture. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry.28: 221-230, 2004.

20 Migration 

Paat Y. and Green R. 2017. Mental Health of Immigrants and Refugees seeking legal services on the US-Mexico Border. Transcultural Psychiatry. Vol. 54 (5-6) 783-805. DOI: 10.1177/1363461517746316

Gozdziak E. Training Refugee Mental Health Providers: Ethnography as a Bridge to Multicultural Practice. Society for Applied Anthropology. Human Organization, Summer 2004, vol. 63, no. 2, pp. 203-210.

Este D., Simich L., Hamilton H. and Sato C. 2017. Perceptions and understandings of mental health from three Sudanese communities in Canada. International Journal of Culture and Mental Health. 10:3, 238-249, DOI: 10.1080/17542863.2017.1296876

27 COVID-19 and Mental Health

Abarca-Brown Gabriel. Haitian migration and dreams in Chile: Questions for global mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Somatosphere. Science, Medicine and Anthropology. July 27, 2020.

Emily A Holmes, Rory C O’Connor, V Hugh Perry, Irene Tracey, Simon Wessely, Louise Arseneault, Clive Ballard, Helen Christensen, Roxane Cohen Silver, Ian Everall, Tamsin Ford, Ann John, Thomas Kabir, Kate King, Ira Madan, Susan Michie, Andrew K Przybylski, Roz Shafran, Angela Sweeney, Carol M Worthman, Lucy Yardley, Katherine Cowan, Claire Cope, Matthew Hotopf, Ed Bullmore. Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health science. Lancet Psychiatry 2020; 7: 547–60. S2215-0366(20)30168-1.

Guan Yanjun, Deng Hong, Zhou Xinyi. Understanding the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on career development: Insights from cultural psychology. Journal of vocational behavior. 119 (2020) 103438.

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