Suman Fernando – Home Grown Mental Health
“In many lower middle income countries there are various ground realities that one has to take on board if you’re going to develop a service that is going to be effective and be sustained.”
In the push for global mental health, there is a pressure to develop mental health systems from the “top down”, using a biomedical model. Dr. Suman Fernando of London Metropolitan University discusses the importance of developing care from the bottom up. A home grown mental health model incorporates the varying cultural, economic, and social realities for each community. Touching on the marketing techniques of some pharmaceutical companies in lower middle income countries, Dr. Fernando emphasizes the need for mental health care to be embedded into a community with local controls or through association with local religious groups, in order to be sustainable and to lessen the threat of corruption.