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AMHIG Celebrates New Leadership and Plans for Continued Success in 2020

AMHIG held its annual business meeting last week in Vancouver during the American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings. We have some updates and exciting plans for the coming year to share with everyone here.
  • After several years of service, Michael Duke has stepped down as co-chair of AMHIG. Erica Fletcher has stepped forward to serve with me as co-chair. We are extremely grateful for her willingness to serve and are very excited to move forward. Thank you Michael for everything you have done for AMHIG over the years. THANK YOU Erica for agreeing to co-chairing with me! I look forward to a successful partnership!
  • Erica is starting a Google group for our group and will be re-vamping the AMHIG website. PLEASE STAY TUNED as the google group will probably become our primary method of communication. Once the link is available we will share it here so people may subscribe.
  • After the success of the AMHIG-sponsored blog series, this year we would like to continue sponsoring blog posts by AMHIG members. We would like to work with an existing Anthropology blog (outlets mentioned were anthrodendum, Sapiens, this anthro life, and The New Ethnographer) and will be researching an appropriate partnership in the coming months.
  • Kristin Yarris suggested also starting an Anthropology of Mental Health podcast series. We all agreed using an existing podcast such as Anthropologist on the Street, Anthropod, or Sapiens would be better than trying to launch our own series. We will be researching and trying to find a venue over the next few weeks and months.
  • We will once again offer a travel award next year.
  • Other ideas we would like to pursue:
    • An AMHIG-sponsored roundtable on Trauma and ethnographic fieldwork building off the Anthrodendum series at the AAAs (Rebecca Lester, would you be interested in co-organizing?)
    • A Policy brief or statement on mental health in anthropology, particularly speaking to graduate student mental health (including important factors such as poverty, food and housing security, and toxic academic culture) –would love to know if anyone would like to work on this with us.
    • Reaching out the the Anthropologists Action Nertwork for Immigrant Rights (AANIR) for possible partnership and collaboration.
Stay tuned over the next weeks and months as we begin moving our agenda forward. We are very excited and energized and look forward to seeing what 2020 will have in store for AMHIG.
I think that is all for now! I hope everyone had an enjoyable break last week and wish an uneventful end of the semester.

AMHIG Travel Award Announcement

AMHIG Congratulates Ms. Emma Backe on receiving the first annual AMHIG Student Travel Award. Emma will be presenting her paper, “The ART of Survival: Psychosocial Care in South Africa’s Feminized Syndemics” at the AAA/CASCA meetings in Vancouver.

Emma Louise Backe is a PhD student in Anthropology at The George Washington University (GW). Her research focuses on the politics of crisis around gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa, specifically the temporalities of care provided to survivors of intimate partner violence and the processes of psychosocial recovery survivors in Cape Town must navigate. In addition to her research, Emma also serves as a Peer Advocate in GW’s Anthropology Department to promote open dialogues about safety planning in the field, the emotional labor associated with ethnography, and cultivating consensual learning spaces. Emma is also a member of the Editorial Board of Feminist Anthropology; an Advisory Board member of Sapiens; and the Managing Editor of The Geek Anthropologist.

 

AMHIG Business Meeting Minutes

Sorry for the delay in posting this.

Meeting Minutes: Anthropology and Mental Health Interest Group

Minneapolis, MN, 11/17/16

 

1)      AMHIG Conference- A few years ago we put on a very successful 1 day conference at American University prior to the AAA Meetings. Participants discussed whether we would like to do this again in 2017. We reported that this year, another SIG had carried out a half-day conference by piggy-backing on the existing conference rather than running a stand-alone meeting, as we had done. We discussed the fact that this approach would entail far less work than the one we used. We are currently in contact with the Society for Medical Anthropology to put this initiative into place. If we get the green light, the meeting will likely take place on November 28, 2017 in Washington, DC.

2)      Policy statement- The SMA encourages it SIGs to develop policy papers on issues of significant concern through its Take a Stand initiative. A number of interesting mental health issues were raised that would lend themselves to this type of initiative. However, given that the incoming Trump Administration’s specific policies regarding mental health and well-being were unknown, it was decided to table this initiative to our next meeting.

3)      Paper prize- We reported on our first paper prize competition. The winners were Whitney Duncan (University of Northern Colorado) in the Professional category and Philippa Fielding (University of Sussex) for the Student category. We will be submitting an RFP for 2017’s paper prize in the Spring.

Note: For those who can attend, we will hold a business meeting at the Society for Applied Anthropology Meeting in Santa Fe, NM.

First AMHIG Article has been posted!

Hi Everyone,

We are excited to post our very first AMHIG Article, written by Ms. Daina Crafa, a PhD student at McGill University. Ms. Crafa will be writing monthly articles for AMHIG, and they will be posted around the first of each month. Her first article is titledUnderstanding Mental Health: Why Neuroscience and Anthropology Should Work Together,” and you can read it here: http://transfer.medanthro.net/amhig/amhig-articles/current-article/

Be sure to check back each month for interesting new articles written by Ms. Crafa or other authors!

If you are interested in writing regular (or just one-time) articles for AMHIG, please contact us at aamhig@gmail.com.

Antropología y Salud Mental frente a escenarios en transformación

GT38-ANTROPOLOGÍA Y SALUD MENTAL FRENTE A ESCENARIOS EN TRANSFORMACIÓN

 

El proceso de transformación en la atención de la salud mental en América Latina, especialmente a partir de la adhesión a la Declaración de Caracas (OPS-OMS, 14 de Noviembre de 1990), si bien ha tenido un impacto y desarrollo diferencial entre los países y al interior de los mismos, ha adquirido mayor profundidad en los últimos años. En particular, en Argentina la reglamentación reciente de la Ley Nacional de Salud Mental 26.657, 2 de diciembre de 2010, introduce un elemento orientador de los procesos de reforma en los diversos niveles jurisdiccionales cuyos alcances y limitaciones merecen ser puestos bajo reflexión. En referencia al caso de Brasil, la ley 10.216, 06 de abril de 2001, dispone la protección y los derechos de las personas portadoras de trastornos mentales y cambia el modelo de atención en salud mental. Sin embargo, aunque que Brasil sea considerado por la OMS un ejemplo de política en salud mental, hay grandes desafíos respecto de las diferencias en el nivel y la calidad de implementación de la reforma en los múltiples estados y municipios.

La introducción de procesos de reforma implica la revisión crítica de los modelos ‘tradicionales de atención de la salud mental’ extendidos por más de un siglo y caracterizados por la centralidad de la institucionalización en hospitales monovalentes, el dominio de los enfoques médico psiquiátricos, el aislamiento y la despersonalización de los sujetos con padecimiento psíquico. Las transformaciones en marcha auguran cambios paradigmáticos que, no sin dificultades, tienden a proponer abordajes de tipo interdisciplinario e intersectorial en articulación con el ámbito social y comunitario, con el foco colocado en la concepción de las personas con sufrimiento psíquico como sujetos de derecho. Ello implica una importante transición para el sistema de salud y la sociedad en general, a la vez que un complejo desafío en la elaboración de nuevas formas de abordar el padecimiento psíquico. Es así que, las transformaciones en curso en los últimos años tienden a poner en cuestión las lógicas manicomiales que han caracterizado las relaciones con los usuarios del sistema de salud.

De este modo consideramos que es necesario destacar la especificidad de los aportes de la antropología para reflexionar sobre los procesos de reforma en salud mental, en tanto la misma abre paso a visibilizar las diversas formas de pensar, ver y actuar de todos los conjuntos sociales involucrados: quienes transitan un padecimiento psíquico, aquellos que se desempeñan funciones institucionales en el ámbito de la salud o de la justicia, entre otros, así como también la sociedad en su conjunto, por tratarse del espacio social y comunitario donde deben situarse las propuestas que garanticen la inclusión. De este modo, la aproximación desde la antropología al campo de los procesos de reforma de la atención en salud mental, permite reconocer continuidades así como también identificar “puntos de inflexión”, esto es, eventos o procesos de quiebre, que han significado una transformación, ya sea a un nivel de análisis macro: en el lugar que se otorga a “la locura” y en la forma de pensar la salud-enfermedad mental o; a un nivel microanalítico (etnográfico), en la trayectoria de los sujetos que experimentan algún sufrimiento mental, en las prácticas cotidianas de los trabajadores de la salud, entre otras posibilidades. Atravesando tales procesos, que involucran múltiples actores sociales, hallaremos el interjuego de valoraciones, prácticas y saberes que permiten aproximarse a los modos de comprender el lugar social de los padecimientos psíquicos en nuestra sociedad.

Es por ello que desde el Grupo de Trabajo Antropología y Salud Mental frente a escenarios en transformación, alentamos la presentación de trabajos que abran camino a la discusión sobre los puntos de inflexión y las continuidades en las formas de aproximación e intervención en salud mental, experiencias que permitan visualizar rupturas con respecto a la reproducción de lógicas manicomiales en la atención, tanto intra como extramuros, considerando la pluralidad de mir Antropologia y Salud Mentaladas e intereses de los conjuntos sociales involucrados, como así también las convergencias y conflictos inherentes a todo proceso de cambio. De este modo, se espera que las contribuciones permitan identificar la forma que adquiere la propuesta de Basaglia cuando dice “la libertad es terapéutica”, cuáles son esos espacios de libertad, cuáles son los quiebres que los habilitan.

 

Coordinadores:

FARAONE, Silvia, Dra. en Ciencias Sociales, Lic. en Trabajo Social. Docente e investigadora. Carrera de Trabajo Social e Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales UBA.

NUNES, Mônica de Oliveira. Lic. en Medicina. Dra. en Antropología. Docente – Investigadora. Instituto de Salud Colectiva. Universidad Federal de Bahia.

SY, Anahi, Lic. en Antropología. Dra en Ciencias Naturales. Docente – Investigadora. Instituto de Salud Colectiva. Universidad Nacional de Lanús.

VALERO, Ana Silvia, Lic. en Antropología. Docente – investigadora. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

http://www.11caas.org/grupos-de-trabajo/gt38-antropologia-y-salud-mental-frente-a-escenarios-en-transformacion/

http://www.11caas.org

 

For our English readers (this is a rough English translation, thanks to Shir Lerman!!):

The transformation process in mental health care in Latin America, especially after the implementation of the Declaration of Caracas (PAHO-WHO, November 14, 1990), has acquired greater depth in recent years, even though it has had an impact and differential development between countries and within them. In particular, Argentina’s recent rules of the National Mental Health Act 26,657, December 2, 2010, introduces a guiding element of the reform processes in the various jurisdictional levels whose scope and limitations deserve to be placed under reflection. Referring to the case of Brazil, the law 10.216, April 6, 2001, provides for the protection and rights of people with mental disorders and changes the model of mental health care. However, although the WHO considers Brazil to be one example of mental health policy, there are great challenges for differences in the level and quality of implementation of the reform in many states and municipalities.

The introduction of reform processes involves the critical review of the ‘traditional mental health care’, which extended for more than a century and is characterized by the centrality of the institutionalization of monovalent hospitals, psychiatric medical domain approaches, isolation models and depersonalization of individuals with mental illness. The transformations underway predict paradigm shifts, not without difficulties, tend to propose approaches such interdisciplinary and intersectoral coordination with the social and community level, with focus placed on the design of people with mental suffering as rights. This implies an important transition for the health system and society in general, as well as a complex challenge in developing new ways to address the mental condition. Thus, the ongoing transformations in recent years tend to question the mental hospital logic that have characterized relationships with users of the health system.

Thus we consider it necessary to emphasize the specificity of the contributions of anthropology to reflect on the process of mental health reform, as it allows us to visualize the different ways of thinking and acting of all concerned social groups : those who travel with a psychic condition, those who perform business functions in the field of health or justice, among others, as well as society as a whole, being the social space and community where to locate these proposals to ensure inclusion. Thus, an approach to the field of anthropology reform processes of care in mental health can recognize continuities as well as identify “tipping points”, ie breaking events or processes that have meant a transformation either a macro level analysis: the place granted to “madness” and the way of thinking about health-mental illness or; a microanalytic level (ethnographic), the trajectory of the subjects experienced any mental suffering in the daily practices of health workers, among other possibilities. Through such processes that involve multiple stakeholders, we find the interplay of ratings, practices and knowledge that allow to approach the ways of understanding the social rather than psychiatric disorders in our society.

That is why from the Working Group and Mental Health Anthropology towards changing scenarios, we encourage the submission of papers to open way to the discussion of turning points and continuities in the ways of approach and intervention in mental health experiences enabling display breaks regarding playing mental hospital logic of care, both within and outside the walls, considering the plurality of outlooks and interests of social groups involved, as well as the convergences and conflicts inherent in any process of change. Thus, it is expected that contributions to identify how the proposed acquiring Basaglia when he says “freedom is therapeutic,” what these spaces of freedom, which enabled the enabled breaks.