Geopolitical factors, foreign aid and mental health II: Value for money
Persaud A., Day G., Ventriglio A., Gupta S., Ramachandran P., Ruiz R., Chumakov E., Desai G., Castaldelli-Maia JM., Torales J., Tolentino EJ., Bhui K., Bhugra D.
In the previous accompanying paper, we described geopolitical factors which affect mental health of individuals who suffer directly and indirectly. These disasters whether they are natural or man-made often attract significant amounts of aid and resources – financial and human. In addition, those who offer foreign aid need to be aware of where and how the aid is being spent. In this paper, we propose that aid giving agencies give due attention to the impact the aid should have on mental health of recipients. Global mental health has become a movement, but concerns remain about its efficacy. Therefore, it is imperative that any aid given is given and utilised in a culturally appropriate and culturally sensitive way. In an interconnected and interlinked world, it is likely that when one country or nation is affected by disasters or trauma, it will impact upon others around both directly and indirectly. We present a new measurement tool-CAPE Vulnerability Index which can be used to identify most vulnerable communities so that international aid may be more appropriately targeted. We believe that this index may go some way in assisting governments and policymakers in ascertaining the impact of their aid on the emotional and mental health of individuals. We suggest that their needs to be a ring-fencing of aid to ensure that population mental health is protected and enhanced with a strategic approach inbuilt into the foreign policy the focus needs to shift towards public mental health.