C2D2 Engagement 6a - Mental Health: Pasts, Current, Trends & Futures

Project: Other projectOther internal award

Project Details


Funding is to support the creation of a new 'poster' book of images and short essays focusing on mental health and its historical, social, political and biomedical contexts. The book will include contributions from leading scholars across the world (including several at York) and a chapter by Dr Shekhar Saxena, Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the WHO HQ, and his team in Geneva. The book will draw on significant expertise across the University in the area of mental health which encompasses clinical trials research through to improving understanding of different national, political, social and cultural contexts in order to design and deliver more effective health and community care interventions.

Key findings

The book consists of an introduction and eight chapters which explore the history of mental health in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas from a range of disciplinary perspectives plus several chapters on the current situation throughout the world with respect to mental health, including one on that of young people. Images are drawn from the collections of the Wellcome Trust and the WHO amongst other sources to both illustrate the arguments/observations in the chapters and to provide additional perspectives and insights. The volume is trilingual (English, Portuguese and Hindi) to maximise the international impact.

400 copies of the books have been printed and a number of them were distributed at the WHO Assembly 2017. Copies have also been sent to Fiocruz and to the World Bank.

The book is available to freely download under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales license from the University of York's Digital Library at:

An e-version of the book is also available and has been shared with the contributors.

The book was launched at the University of York during a day of events to mark World Health Day, 10 October 2017, and free copies were available to take. An accompanying exhibition of twenty images taken from the book was displayed in the Ron Cooke Hub.

Consequent on publication of the book Sanjoy Bhattacharya was invited to participate on behalf of the University at the WHO MHGAP forum. Sanjoy passed the invitation onto Najma Siddiqi in the Department of Health Sciences who was invited to give a presentation at the forum on her proposed programme of research on multimorbidity. This has led to collaboration with the WHO Dept of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders as central partners in the IMPACT in South Asia Group bid, and an invitation to join their guideline development group. Networking opportunities at the meeting also helped secure the involvement of global health charities that work in mental and physical health in South Asia in the IMPACT group proposal.
Effective start/end date11/02/1631/03/17