Inspecting Mental Health: Depression, Surveillance and Care in Kerala, South India.

Inspecting Mental Health: Depression, Surveillance and Care in Kerala, South India. Cult Med Psychiatry. 2019 Dec;43(4):596-612 Authors: Lang C Abstract Depression has become a major public health concern in Kerala, South India. Media and mental health professionals often attribute the rise of depression and suicide to a discontent around modern transformations and the flipside of the "Kerala model of development". Kerala's primary health care system of health governance, surveillance and care with its backbone of community and multi-purpose health workers is currently being expanded to target inner feelings, emotional suffering and existential despair, as a result of complex global, national and local processes of making visible and stabilizing depression as a public health category. Rather than relying on NGOs and foreign funding, mental health policy planners in Kerala engage the state of Kerala. Using the case of a junior health inspector's counseling, I argue that the reconfiguration of suffering from an existential part of life and symptom of adversity into a medical condition can also lead to mobilization of (gendered) care in a context of familial marginalization and neglect. In this context, individual bodies are healed by restoring social bodies. Medicalization does not necessarily silence social inequalities and marginalization but can become productive in providing an idiom to critique a family's moral economy. PMID: 31729687 [...
Source: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tags: Cult Med Psychiatry Source Type: research

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