The relatively niche field of mental health in development studies has seen significant increased funding and the establishment of mental health as a development priority. Mental health in development contexts is often framed in terms of approaches to development prioritizing economic growth and human rights. This paper examines the simultaneous presence of the two discourses that at first seem intuitively different. The way that the aid recipient is conceptualized ontologically in mental health development projects, according to prevalent epistemologies is examined as a potential commonality between the two approaches. Commentary is provided according to critical historical perspectives of mental illness, scientific knowledge production, and social planning.

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Harcourt, Wendy
Social Policy for Development (SPD)
International Institute of Social Studies

Yu, Carolyn. (2017, December 15). The Irrational Realities of a Governed Subject Post-Developmental Perspectives on Mental Health. Social Policy for Development (SPD). Retrieved from