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TRANSFORM attend the IUAES-WAU World Anthropology Conference in Delhi

Dr Bulbul Siddiqi, North South University and TRANSFORM Co-Investigator, Bangladesh, and Dr Ursula Read, Senior Research Fellow, University of Warwick, hosted a panel at the IUAES-WAU World Anthropology Conference at the University of Delhi, India on 18th October 2023. The title of the panel was The importance of not knowing: reimagining the role of traditional and faith healing in mental health care in uncertain times.

Dr Siddiqi gave a presentation on ethnographic findings from Work Package 1 in Bangladesh entitled: ‘Uncertainty in accessing care for serious mental illness: Perspectives from caregivers and people with lived experience in an urban slum in Bangladesh.’

Other presentations included meanings of mental distress and help-seeking in the Yamuna valley, North India by Meenal Rawat; experiences of alternative health-seeking for depression amongst young people in South Africa by Zanele Nodongwe and Gabriel Darong; remote use of traditional healers in Yunan, China by Jie Feng; spiritist approaches to mental health care in Brazil by Helmar Kurz; uses of culture in collaborations between mental health workers and traditional and faith-based healers in Ghana by Ursula Read, Lily Kpobi and Erminia Colucci; co-creating spaces for healing from severe mental illness in Central Java, Indonesia by Aliza Hunt and Ninik Supartini and prospects for integration between biomedical and faith-healing practitioners in Bangladesh by Nur Newaz Khan.

The panel was well-attended and gave rise to an interesting discussion on prospects for collaboration between healers and health mental health workers in these different contexts. Dr Siddiqi and Dr Read are planning to develop a special issue with the papers presented.