Can psychosocial disability transform mental health? A conversation with Luis Arroyo and Justin Karter

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This interview is a conversation between Luis Gerardo Arroyo Lynn and Justin Karter.

Luis conducted this conversation in his role as an editor of Mad in Mexico. Established in September 2021, Mad in Mexico is not just an extension but an essential limb of the international initiative of Mad In America. Its mission resonates with the core values of challenging conventional thinking around mental health, focusing on the Spanish-speaking communities of South and Central America as well as the United States.

Luis graduated from Universidad La Salle and is now pursuing a master’s degree in Social Psychology of Groups and Institutions at UAM Xochimilco. He is currently conducting research on “Depsychiatrization of Mental Health,” with an interest in the fields of critical psychology, anti-psychiatry, and anti-speciesism.

Luis is in conversation today with Mad in America’s own Justin M. Karter, whose multidisciplinary work stands at the intersection of psychology, philosophy, mad studies, and global mental health. As a counselling psychologist, an Instructor for the Center for Psychological Humanities & Ethics at Boston College, and the lead research news editor at Mad in America since 2015, Justin’s approach to mental health goes beyond clinical practice.

In the spotlight is Justin’s research titled “Inclusion Toward Transformation: Psychosocial Disability Advocacy and Global Mental Health.” This study, completed in August 2021, addresses pressing concerns in modern mental health discourse. It critiques the prevailing Western notions that shape the Movement for Global Mental Health (MGMH) and champions a rights-based perspective, considering cultural, political, and economic conditions.

This interview explores the crux of Justin’s research, examining the transformative potential of an integrated psychosocial disability framework. By interrogating and deconstructing mainstream discourses, this conversation promises to shed light on how we can better serve those with lived experiences of mental distress, transcending traditional boundaries and embracing a more rights-based, inclusive approach. This conversation aims to redefine the way we approach mental health, madness, psychiatry, and psychological suffering, in a world that desperately needs a compassionate, critical perspective.

Listen to the podcast at Mad in America 

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MITUK’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for fundamentally re-thinking theory and practice in the field of mental health in the UK, and promoting positive change. We believe that the current diagnostically-based paradigm of care has comprehensively failed, and that the future lies in non-medical alternatives which explicitly acknowledge the causal role of social and relational conflicts, abuses, adversities and injustices.