On Nov. 4, the International Women’s and Children’s Health Conference was held in Hamilton. The focus of the conference was on “confronting the stigma: a global and multicultural perspective on the mental health of women and children”. Dr. Sheila Harms facilitated a workshop on the Grand Challenges of Global Mental Health at the conference.
Dr. Harms is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist working at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton. She has a particular interest in marginalized populations and currently works with homeless and incarcerated youth to address mental health concerns. She participated as a clinician in the Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health in identifying key research priorities.
The Grand Challenges of Global Mental Health are those specific barriers that, if removed, would help to improve the lives of those affected by neuropsychiatric illnesses. The goal of identifying these challenges is to ultimately develop effective interventions. The findings from the Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health initiative were published in the July 7, 2011 issue of Nature.
Dr. Harms appeals to our listeners to be open to learning about what mental illness is beyond its stereotypes and stigma. It is important to remember the hope that resides in mental health issues and to recognize the resilience of those affected by mental illnesses.
(photo taken from http://www.arttherapyblog.com/)