UCL Anthropology


Seminar and Book Launch on Mental Health and International Development

15 October 2019, 2:00 pm–5:30 pm

Routledge Handbook Mental Health Cover

All interested students and lecturers are cordially invited to a seminar afternoon to discuss mental health in the global context, focusing on SDG3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Event Information

Open to



UCL Anthropology


Student Common Room
UCL Anthropology
14 Taviton Street
United Kingdom

The seminar will take place on 15 October during the week of World Mental Health Day. Mental health has always been a low priority worldwide, but there is now an emerging international imperative to improve global mental health and wellbeing. The UN’s current international development agenda, containing 17 SDGs, includes the requirement to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages under SDG3.

The inter-disciplinary speakers at this seminar are some of the authors of a recently published book, The Routledge Handbook of International Development, Mental Health and Wellbeing, edited by Dr. Laura Davidson.  They will discuss why a commitment to investing in mental health ought to be an absolute global priority.

This Handbook, with a Foreword by Jeffrey D. Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Sustainable Development Goals, includes chapters by over 30 leading global experts, including the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health Dainius Puras, Harvard Global Health Professor Vikram Patel and our department’s own Joseph Calabrese. It comprehensively surveys mental health in the context of international development through a range of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. The chapters address the new UN agenda, examining its implications for national and international policy-makers, decision-makers, researchers, and funding agencies.

Copies of the book (The Routledge Handbook of International Development, Mental Health and Wellbeing) and discount fliers will be available at the seminar.


1:30pm Tea & coffee

2:00pm Introduction

2:15pm Professor Rachel Jenkins, Psychiatrist, Epidemiologist, and Professor Emeritus at King’s College, London

Meeting target 3.4 of UN Sustainable Development Goals through the promotion of mental health and wellbeing

2:45pm Mr. Chris Underhill, MBE, founder of the global mental health NGO BasicNeeds, and CitiesRise

The role of community-based mental health interventions in meeting SDG1 and SDG3, with lessons from Vietnam

3:15pm Dr. Joseph D. Calabrese, Clinical Psychologist, Reader of Medical Anthropology and Tutor of the MSc in Medical Anthropology at UCL

An anthropological perspective on mental illness, examining the cultural approaches of the Bhutanese and Native North Americans to mental health and wellbeing

3:45pm Tea & coffee

4:00pm Professor Svend Aage Madsen, Psychotherapist, Head of Research at Copenhagen University Hospital, and President of the Danish Men’s Health Forum

Addressing suicidality and the global neglect of men’s mental health and wellbeing

4:30pm Dr. Laura Davidson, Barrister, international development consultant, and co-founding Trustee of Mental Health Research UK

Upholding the human rights of those with psychosocial disability, with case studies from Zambia and Paraguay

5:00pm Panel discussion

5:30pm Drinks and nibbles