Thursday, July 21, 2011

How to get money for global mental health research

The Grand challenges in global mental health initiative reckons it has identified priorities for research in mental, neurological and substance-use (MNS) disorders (see Nature article). Similar initiatives in global health in general and in chronic non-communicable diseases have led to the commitment of significant new programmes of funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation amongst other research funders.

The term 'mental health' is seen as a convenient label for MNS disorders, excluding conditions with a vascular or infectious aetiology because these were covered by previous initiatives. This brain disorder bias seems to reflected in the identified priorities. Such priorities obviously also reflect the biases of the assembled international panel. They don't seem particularly interested in what people with mental health problems themselves in different parts of the world want.

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