UCU Global Mental Health Project Jamaica

The 10-day Jamaica field trip provides you with the opportunity to study mental health in a global context. This knowledge is in increasing demand in today’s society. 

University College Utrecht students in Jamaica, 2019.

Global Mental Health as a field seeks to include psychology, medicine, anthropology, public health and political science to find culturally sensitive ways to treat mental illness. This multidisciplinary approach is pertinent to the Liberal Arts and Sciences educational philosophy of University College Utrecht. 

Mental Health

It is increasingly clear that mental illness affects many levels of society. Common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety affect one’s health and are also a result of poor health. Economies and well-being of people in low, middle, and high income countries pay a huge price when some members of its population are disabled by mental illness. 

The Global Mental Health project is an excellent opportunity to experience the health care system in a middle income Caribbean country and to learn about the difficulties and opportunities in reshaping mental health care delivery.

Jamaica

As participant of the project, you will spend ten days in Jamaica, learning about traditional and contemporary understandings and treatment of mental illness in this country. Activities will include lectures and seminars at University of West Indies students about public health, mental health, public policy, and clinical psychology. 

You will also visit a day centre for mentally ill, observe treatment sessions, and meet with traditional healers who work with mental health problems. You will interview and interact with patients in a general health clinic, many of whom have co-occurring mental health issues that are interacting with biomedical problems. Qualitative studies will be encouraged. There will also be a visit to a rural community and to the exotic Blue Mountains.

Place in the curriculum

Students will receive 2.5 EC for the experience. There will be weekly meetings in September and October, prior to departure, to discuss global mental health, Jamaica background and to develop an activity, research, or specific pursuit that will be conducted while in the field. Students will travel to Jamaica during the Fall break in October. Upon return, students will give a presentation to the University College community about the project.

Participation costs

The cost of the trip will is targeted to be €1000 max. This will include airfare (€750), and incidental food. The Global Mental Health Initiative will pay for all other major costs.

How to apply

If you would like to apply to be a part of this project, please contact Robert Dunn (R.K.Dunn@uu.nl). You are asked to write a letter of motivation, including why you are interested in joining, how it relates to your academic and/or life interests, major, courses taken, and anything else that might be relevant. Participants will be selected before the end of the Spring semester.