Skip to main content

Anthropology, Brokerage and Collaboration in the development of a Tongan Public Psychiatry: Local Lessons for Global Mental Health

Poltorak, Mike (2016) Anthropology, Brokerage and Collaboration in the development of a Tongan Public Psychiatry: Local Lessons for Global Mental Health. Transcultural Psychiatry, 53 (6). pp. 743-765. ISSN 1363-4615. E-ISSN 1461-7471. (doi:10.1177/1363461516679072)

PDF (This is the author's accepted manuscript prior to final copyediting. For the final version please go to the journal website for Transcultural Psychiatry.) - Author's Accepted Manuscript
Download (447kB) Preview
[img]
Preview
Official URL
https://doi.org/10.1177/1363461516679072

Abstract

The Global Mental Health (GMH) movement has revitalised questions of the translatability of psychiatric concepts and the challenges of community engagement in countries where knowledge of the biomedical basis for psychiatric diagnosis is limited or challenged by local cultural codes. In Tonga, the local psychiatrist Dr Puloka has successfully established a publicly accessible psychiatry that has raised admission rates for serious mental illness and addressed some of the stigma attached to diagnosis. On the basis of historical analysis and ethnographic fieldwork with healers, doctors and patients since 1998, this article offers an ethnographic contextualization of the development and reception of three key interventions during the 1990s inspired by traditional healing and reliant on the translation of psychiatric terms and diagnosis. Dr Puloka’s use of medical anthropological and transcultural psychiatry research informed a community engaged brokerage between the implications of psychiatric nosologies and local needs. As such it reveals deficiencies in current polarised positions on the GMH project and offers suggestions to address current challenges of the Global Mental Health movement.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1363461516679072
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Social and Cultural Anthropology
Depositing User: Mike Poltorak
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2015 13:52 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 16:26 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/52115 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year