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UA Course Catalog Prerequisites:
6 hours of ANT courses
One prior course in medical anthropology, or permission of the instructor.
Course Description and Credit Hours
Devoted to issues not covered in other courses. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours.
This service-learning course critically engages concepts of mental health and illness through an interdisciplinary perspective that draws from psychological and medical anthropology, history, psychology, public health, disability studies, and biology. We will examine various psychiatric conditions across three levels of analysis, beginning at the individual, followed with the community level, and finally in a macro-, socio-political perspective. The class will analyze mental health definitions, treatments, outcomes, advocacy, and nosology in Western and non-Western approaches. As part of the course, students will engage in community-based work with providers and recipients of mental health care, and therefore will be required to complete a background check and required certifications. Drawing on this service experience, students will work on a project throughout the semester, culminating in a term paper examining a psychiatric state or condition from each of the three perspectives noted above (individual, community, global).
Required Texts from UA Supply Store:
- GHAEMI, S NASSIR / A CLINICIANS GUIDE TO STATISTICS AND EPIDEMIOLOGY IN MENTAL HEALTH:MEASURING TRU (Recommended)
- WATTERS (RENTAL) / (RENTAL) CRAZY LIKE US (RENTAL)
- WATTERS / CRAZY LIKE US (Required)
Student Learning Outcomes
If students do all that is asked of them in this class, by the end of the semester they should be able to:
● Understand and interpret research on mental health coming from a variety of disciplines
● Practice leading group discussion in a seminar format
● Give examples of the methods that cross-cultural mental health scholars use in their research
● Analyze a mental health issue at individual/family, community, and socio-political levels
● Appraise current debates in the fields of Psychological Anthropology and Global Mental Health
Other Course Materials
All other course readings will be available on the Blackboard site.
Outline of Topics
1. State of the field: Global burden of disease, mhGAP, and task-sharing
2. Anthropological concepts and global mental health
3. Methods and ethics in GMH research 4. Culture and explanatory models of mental illness
4. Culture and explanatory models of mental illness
5. The social production of mental illness/expressed emotion/family: Schizophrenia case study
6. The cultural work of psychiatric diagnosis
7. Psychopharmaceutical living
8. GMH interventions
9. "Common" and "uncommon" mental disorders: Depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders
10. Learning and developmental disorders: ADHD and ASDs
12. Trauma and PTSD
13. Dementia and Alzheimer's
14. Grand challenges and future directions
Exams and Assignments
Class Attendance, Participation, and Discussion Questions – Each week students will be assessed on their class participation. Participation consists of 3 elements, worth 2 points each:
1. At the beginning of each class session, we will go around the room and each student will give a brief description of the service learning work s/he has done in the previous week, including challenges and opportunities.
2. At the beginning of each class, students will turn in a 3x5 index card with two well-thought-out questions that arose from their readings, service work, or thinking about the topic of the week. These will be used in class to help guide dis-cussion.
3. Each student will be expected to actively participate in class discussion during the rest of the class period.
Please note that class participation counts for an unusually large proportion of your course grade. This is because this course does not simply provide you with “facts” to learn, but rather prompts you to reflect on the subjects we explore through service learning. You are expected to understand the facts and concepts, but also to develop a critical assessment of them. Therefore, you must engage in class through close reading of the materials with a critical mind, and actively par-ticipate in class discussion. Class and service learning attendance is a crucial part of your participation, but just showing up will not lead to full credit. The quality of your class participation, your regular submission of questions, and your ac-tive engagement in service learning will also be assessed.
Leading Class - Every student will lead the class one time in the semester. This is a seminar-style course, so the leader will come with detailed notes on the readings and thought-provoking questions to guide class discussion. Leaders are en-couraged to consider using various discussion formats aside from the standard sit-around-a-table-and-chat (though this is certainly a valuable format and can be used sometimes). The leader of the week must meet with me at least 2 days prior to their class for guidance on leading discussion, discussion format, and suggestions about key topics to be covered. Ful-filling this obligation is part of the grade each student will receive for leading class.
Small papers - Over the course of the semester, 3 5-page papers will be due submitted. These papers comprise an ongoing semester project that you will synthesize into your final paper and presentation. Select a mental health issue (e.g. a partic-ular diagnosis, stressor, intervention, or idiom) with relevance in a setting of interest to you; it will be especially useful if this issue arises out of your service learning work. Each paper should present your issue as a case study, and each paper should deal with a different level of analysis. The first paper will address your issue at the individual level; the second, at the community level; and the third, at the socio-political level. Please work closely with me on these papers; you must meet with me at least once in the first 3 weeks of the course to discuss your paper idea, and you are encouraged to do so at other times throughout the semester.
Final project - 15-18 page paper, developed by synthesizing the three small papers. Involves analyzing a mental health issue from individual/family, community, and socio-political perspectives. Students will be expected to draw on readings from class, outside readings, and first-hand experiences from service learning.
***Note: all written work should follow the standards and guidelines described in detail at the end of this document.***
Final paper presentation - At mid-semester, you will be grouped into 3-4 person panels based on your chosen mental health topics. You will collectively put together a conference-style panel presentation, including a title and abstract that represents your group’s topics, and present it on the last day of the course. Each student will have 10 minutes to present their project and take questions.
1. Participation (6 points per class x 13 classes)..............104 points
2. Leading class (1 time)................................................. 36 points
3. Small Papers (3).......................................................... 60 points total (20 each)
4. Final paper (1)............................................................. 60 points
5. Final paper presentation (1)........................................ 40 points
TOTAL POINTS POSSIBLE......................................... 300 points
A+ = ≥ 97%
C = 73 - 76%
A = 93 - 96%
C- = 70 - 72%
A- = 90 - 92%
D+ = 67 - 69%
B+ = 87 - 89%
D = 63 - 66%
B = 83 - 86%
D- = 60 - 62%
B- = 80 - 82%
F = ≤59%
C+ = 77 - 79%
Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework
If the final paper is not received by the deadline, an incomplete grade will be assigned. Late papers will be accepted with a grade penalty of up to one full letter.
There are no "freebie" absences in this class. If an emergency arises, please let me know as soon as possible and provide appropriate documentation. This applies to students' attendance in class sessions as well as service learning sessions.
Statement on Academic Misconduct
Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the official Code of Academic Conduct provided in the Online Catalog.
Statement On Disability Accommodations
Contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as detailed in the Online Catalog.
Severe Weather Protocol
Please see the latest Severe Weather Guidelines in the Online Catalog.
Pregnant Student Accommodations
Title IX protects against discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status. If you are pregnant and will need accommodations for this class, please review the University’s FAQs on the UAct website.
Under the Guidelines for Religious Holiday Observances, students should notify the instructor in writing or via email during the first two weeks of the semester of their intention to be absent from class for religious observance. The instructor will work to provide reasonable opportunity to complete academic responsibilities as long as that does not interfere with the academic integrity of the course. See full guidelines at Religious Holiday Observances Guidelines.
The UAct website provides an overview of The University's expectations regarding respect and civility.