ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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'Grand Challenges to Global Mental Health'

An essay in Nature last year, “Grand Challenges to Global Mental Health” (Vol 475, pp 27-30) announced research priorities for improving the lives of people with mental illness around the world, and called for urgent action and investment. However, many professionals, academics, and service user advocate organisations are concerned about the assumptions embedded in the approaches advocated and the potential for the project to do more harm than good as a result. Nature refused to print a letter protesting against the issue citing “lack of space” as the reason.

The largest ever international Delphi panel was assembled in a project starting March 2010 to formulate the “Grand” Challenges to Global Mental Health project. The panel consisted of a scientific advisory board from the US National Institute of Mental Health (US-NIMH) who

nominated 594 researchers, advocates, pro­gramme implementers, and clinicians...resear­­chers in genetics and genomics, neuroscience, basic behavioural science and neuro­development made up just over one-third of the panel. Mental health services researchers consisted another quarter, and a further third were clinical researchers and epidemiologists (p 28).

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