The Culture of Mental Illness and Psychiatric Practice in Africa

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9780253012937: The Culture of Mental Illness and Psychiatric Practice in Africa
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In many African countries, mental health issues, including the burden of serious mental illness and trauma, have not been adequately addressed. These essays shed light on the treatment of common and chronic mental disorders, including mental illness and treatment in the current climate of economic and political instability, access to health care, access to medicines, and the impact of HIV-AIDS and other chronic illness on mental health. While problems are rampant and carry real and devastating consequences, this volume promotes an understanding of the African mental health landscape in service of reform.

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About the Author:

Emmanuel Akyeampong is Professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.

Allan Hill is Andelot Professor of Demography at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Arthur Kleinman is the Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University, and Professor of Medical Anthropology in Global Health and Social Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Review:

A review of the literature on African psychology or psychiatry yields few results in relation to
the long history and substantial size of this mighty continent and the richness of its cultures.
Thus, the valuable array of contributions to the edited volume, The Culture of Mental Illness
and Psychiatric Practice in Africa, cannot be understated. (PsycCRITIQUES)

In The Culture of Mental Illness and Psychiatric Practice, [the authors] . . . shed light on mental illness in Africa and the way interventions are handled by psychiatric institutions and experts, including physicians and nurses. . . All the volume's chapters, which study treatments used to deal with common and chronic mental disorders, have been well researched and well written.Fall 2015 (Africa Today)

Anthropologists . . . will find The Culture of Mental Illness and Psychiatric Practice in Africa to be a consistent case for the integration of psychological, medical, and sociocultural perspectives. With a topic as vast as African mental health, even a sizable book like this one feels as if it is only scraping the surface of the subject, but it shows the promise of anthropological concepts and ethnological methods in the study and treatment of mental illness, not only in Africa but around the world. (Anthropology Review Database)

This book is recommended reading for any professional who desires to understand the ways in which politics, economics, institutions, and culture converge in the provision of mental health care, especially in low-income contexts. (Journal of Menal Health)

The Culture of Mental Illness and Psychiatric Practice in Africa . . . addresses a much neglected field of study and does so in a broad and interdisciplinary fashion. (African Studies Review)

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