Global Mental Health, Colonality and Epistemicide

with Dr. China Mills
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Dr. China Mills
City University London

Dr. China Mill's (she/her) research traces different facets of the global mental health assemblage. She explores the ways diagnoses travel and circulate around the world, and what happens when issues such as distress, suicide, or terrorism get framed as global public health challenges. Her work looks into how the psy-disciplines and psychotropic drugs function in local and global contexts of entrenched inequality, chronic poverty, (neo)colonial oppression, border imperialism, and increasingly under the politics of austerity. China also carries out critical research into suicides linked to welfare reform, economic reform, immigration detention, and corporate practices, and is a member of the Critical Suicide Studies Network.

China is the Principal Investigator on a British Academy grant looking at the 'social life' (production, circulation, use, and resistance) of global mental health technologies designed to be used all over the world. She was also Principal Investigator on a previous British Academy grant researching the use of behavior change technologies in India, South Africa, and Australia. China's funding enables her to work alongside Dr. Eva Hilberg, a postdoctoral researcher, also based at City.

In 2014, China published the book 'Decolonizing Global Mental Health: the Psychiatrization of of the Majority World' (Routledge), which draws on research with NGOs and user-surviving organizations in India, and analyzes global mental health policies as forms of colonial discourse. Since her book, she has published widely in leading journals, including: Critical Public Health; Globalization and Health; Critical Sociology Policy; and Sociology of Health and Illness. China's research has been featured in the Indian Express, Discover Society, the Conversation, Mad in Asia, and the Weeks Centre for Social Policy.