Posted on 23 February 2018
A trilingual illustrated book of essays produced by the Centre for Global Health Histories (CGHH) and the Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders (C2D2), with funding from the University of York and the Wellcome Trust, has been cited in a comment piece entitled ‘WHO QualityRights: transforming mental health services’ in The Lancet Psychiatry (Vol. 4, No. 11) first published online in July 2017. The book entitled Mental Health: Pasts, Current Trends and Futures was published earlier the same year by Orient BlackSwan and offers a number of remarkable case studies relating to mental health from different areas of the world and across periods in time. It features contributions from many world-leading experts and organisations in the field, including the WHO and the World Bank.
The eight essay chapters are illustrated with specially chosen photographs, prints and other visual records, drawn from a variety of libraries and repositories including Wellcome Images and the WHO Picture Library. To maximise its reach, the work is in English, Portuguese and Hindi and contains case studies from areas speaking each of these three languages. The book can be downloaded for free under a creative commons license from the University of York Digital Library.
Each chapter of the book sheds light on some of the many motivations and innovations in the field of mental health, and analyses the range of barriers and opportunities that continue to impact this complex area of work. One of them by Soumitra Pathare, Jasmine Kalha, Titus Joseph of Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, Indian Law Society, Pune (with Michelle Funk & Natalie Drew-Bold Mental Health Policy and Service Development, WHO, Geneva and Akwatu Khenti Office of Transformative Global Health, Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto) focuses on the implementation of the WHO QualityRights initiative at public health facilities in the Indian State of Gujarat and explores the positive transformations this has affected. The authors of the chapter describe how the new approach sparks positive changes in attitudes and behaviours both amongst nursing staff and amongst the service users themselves who become more engaged in their own recovery plans and also becoming peer support volunteers.
It is this chapter case study that is referenced in The Lancet piece which discusses recent developments in the QualityRights initiative including the publication of a set of 15 training and guidance modules and the creation of a best practice guide. The piece acknowledges that although implementation of the initiative is still only starting, it has been extremely successful where it has been introduced as for instance in Gujarat.