Visit to Santiago de Chile

Posted on 22 November 2019

In October, CRD Research Fellow Noortje Uphoff travelled to Chile to join forces with a research group at the Universidad del Desarrollo, led by Professor Baltica Cabieses, to bring together research expertise in migrant mental health.

Together they worked on an overview of reviews, which will show what is known about treating and preventing mental health problems among refugees and asylum seekers, and highlight gaps in the evidence. Noortje also gave a lecture on Cochrane reviews and evidence in global mental health and a training session on Cochrane reviews with the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders group. A science fair took place at the university and Noortje and Baltica joined the panel of judges for the three minute pitch competition.

During the visit, our Chilean colleagues launched a report on myth busting in migrant health through the use of evidence. Their learning will inform the dissemination of findings from our Cochrane reviews in global mental health and migrant health, so that the evidence we produce reaches more people and can be used to improve clinical practice.

During Noortje’s visit, social unrest and riots broke out in Santiago and the rest of Chile. Sparked by a rise in metro fares, people were (and still are) protesting against tough working and living conditions and large inequalities in income, healthcare, and education. Both of our research groups, particularly on the topic of global mental health, are determined to produce evidence that can be used to improve the lives of those who are most in need. For us, the unrest in Chile reinforced the importance of producing evidence that can reach and benefit as many people as possible, so that inequalities in health and healthcare are reduced.

This visit to Chile was made possible by a small grant from the Risk, Evidence, and Decision-Making research theme from the University of York.