Heads up on Mental Health issues in Auckland

Friday, May 18 at The Wave Room, Wellesley Street, AUT

Venkat Raman

The importance of addressing mental health problems and challenges, early intervention and the cultural influence in delivery and acceptance will be among the issues that will be discussed at a special meeting in Auckland later this month.

Distinguished Speakers

Professor Kamaldeep (popularly known as Dr Kam) Bhui will be the main speaker at the meeting scheduled to be held on Friday, May 18, 2018 between 12 pm and 130 pm at The Wave Room (WG 308) of the City Campus of AUT University City Campus at 55 Wellesley Street East.

Among the others in the distinguished panel of speakers are Professor Gin (Gurjhinder) Singh Malhi, Executive Director and Clinical Director at CADE Clinic of Royal North Shore Hospital and Psychiatry Chair at the Northern Clinical School of the University of Sydney, Dr Heather Came, Maori Health Research Centre and Dr Alayne Hall, National Institute for Public Health and Mental Health Research at AUT.

Respectful Dialogue

In ‘Elements of Culture and Mental Health,’ a book that he has edited, Dr Bhui said that an equal and respectful dialogue should be established between people from different cultures to ensure that equal partnership is in place and that mental health help is meaningful and cultural and resource appropriate.

“If an intervention is not meaningful or culturally appropriate, it is unlikely to be taken up or be viewed as being of benefit to potential users. Services should build on what individuals and communities know about their own survival and coping systems, and strategies based on these are likely to be both more appropriate and more effective (Tribe & de Silva, 1999; Wessells, 1999),” he said.

Dr Bhui said that the importance of community engagement in improving health in the UK population has been noted by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which has developed specific guidance on the subject.

“In addition, best practice in health and social care services stresses the role of service user involvement to ensure that services are appropriate and accessible,” he said.

Extensive research

Dr Bhui has undertaken extensive research on unexplained medical complaints, mental illness, suicide, Mental Health Act detentions, ethnic inequalities of pathways to care, racism, discrimination, violence and Public Mental Health.

His focus is on how the best quality care, safety and access to treatment can be achieved in services, and how to encourage resilience and wellbeing. His clinical work is across some of the most deprived areas in UK. His current post involves assessment and treatment of people with complex personality disorders alongside other psychiatric and social problems.

About Dr Kam Bhui

Professor Kamaldeep Bhui is Professor of Cultural Psychiatry & Epidemiology at Queen Mary University of London and Head of Department in the Centre for Psychiatry. He is also an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in East London Foundation Trust and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist.

He is Director at the Cultural Consultation Service at Barts and is Director of a number of MSc programmes in Mental Health. He is also the co-founder of Careif, an international mental health charity based in London that promotes work for young people and their health through culture, sport and arts.

In 2017 he was awarded a CBE for services to mental health research. His research and practice interests on health include social exclusion, work characteristics, cultural psychiatry, epidemiology, health services research and psychological therapies.

Queen Elizabeth II appointed him as Commander of the British Empire (CBE) on New Year’s Day in 2017.

Tributes to Dr Bhui

Former Commonwealth Foundation Chairman, Careif Patron and former New Zealand Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand said that Professor Bhui has represented the face of psychiatry and its impact on ethnic and cultural minorities for more than 20 years.

“The uptake of this in the psychiatric medicine mainstream is a viable testament to his efforts,” he said in a statement by Careif.

Anil Thapliyal, Chief Executive, HealthTRX, Adjunct Professor, AUT University and Careif International Advisor in New Zealand, said, “As a renowned researcher of international repute, Professor Bhui was invited by the New Zealand Ministry of Health as a keynote speaker at an Asian Health Conference held in Auckland and Wellington in 2005.  His research continues to make contribution to the Psychiatry domain development across geo-political boundaries.”


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