Global Mental Health and Neuroethics: Global Mental Health in Practice - Chapter 15: Addressing disability in global mental health and neuroethics: challenges and hopes

Elsevier, Global Mental Health and Neuroethics, Global Mental Health in Practice, 2020, Pages 237-261
Kevin Chien-Chang Wu

Since the first decade of the 21st century, global mental health, neuroethics, and disability have become three intertwined disciplines/fields. Mental disorders are a major contributor to global burden of disease. Advances in neuroscience-technology expand our vision of the relationship between brain, mind and environment. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities emphasizes equal protection of human rights and freedom and respect for the dignity of persons with disabilities. It is not only inevitable but also mutually beneficial for global mental health and neuroethics to give input into and gain feedback from disability research. The current chapter intends to provide an initial analytic framework for achieving this goal. Following an Introduction, a “Models of disability” section delineates major models of disability and their relevance to mental or psychosocial disability. The “Challenges to global mental health and neuroethics” section covers the major challenges posed by discourse on disability for global mental health and neuroethics. Critiques of both global mental health and neuroethics resonate with work in disability studies. The “Opportunities for addressing disability in GMH and neuroethics: A proposal” section summarizes the importance of addressing disability at the intersection of global mental health and neuroethics, and proposes an integrated multilevel model of disability as a framework for future analysis.