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Conducting global mental health research is essential to understanding the prevalence of mental health and psychosocial problems, and to strengthening the evidence base for interventions.  It is widely accepted that all research must adhere to standards of research ethics, such as those outlined in International Codes or Guidelines.  Furthermore, in the process of conceptualising, designing, conducting, and reporting research the inherent ethical implications presented by a given study must be considered and addressed.  To support this process, I have developed an interdisciplinary theoretical framework that aims to act as an entry point to making explicit the ethical issues inherent to global mental health research.  The purpose of this framework is to provide global mental health researchers’ with a tool to aid engagement with the ethical dimensions to their research.

In this talk I will describe the origins and process of developing the framework, before then exploring its application to a case example.  In doing so I aim to demonstrate its utility as a tool for researchers that acts as a stimulus to foregrounding the ethical implications inherent to global mental health research.



Anna Chiumento is an ESRC funded post-doctoral researcher at the University of Liverpool.  Her research sits at the interface of global mental health and empirical ethics.  She focuses upon the development, testing, and scale-up of brief low-intensity mental health interventions throughout the life course, underpinned by a background in human rights.  Her PhD involved a qualitative study of researchers’ experiences of ethics when conducting mental health research in post-conflict settings.  It explored the impact of procedural ethical systems of ethical oversight and audit, as well as the lived-through experience of ethical issues that arise when working in challenging settings.  This focus upon the ethical dimensions to global mental health research in diverse global settings underpins all of the research and capacity building that she engages in.  Anna is also involved in collaborative learning initiatives that seek to strengthen the capacity of those working in global mental health to develop and test the delivery of mental health interventions across the lifespan and in a range of global settings.  In July 2019 she will attend the Ethox Centre at Oxford University as an Academic Visitor to work on her post-doctoral program of research.