ITM Alumni webinar series 2
23/09 - 30/11/2021

Alumni webinar series featuring the winners of the 2021 Prize for Global health of the Province of Antwerp

Webinar #1: “Beyond psychocentrism: contextualizing mental health through a case study on indigenous youth suicide”

Register in advance via Zoom


This new series of ITM alumni webinars features the four ITM winners of the Prize for Global Research 2021. The Prize for Global Research is awarded yearly by the Province of Antwerp to research projects of ‘master-after-master’-students of ITM and other Higher Education Institutes. Development relevance, quality and originality of the master theses are key in the selection. Through this award, the Province of Antwerp wants to stimulate research relating to the global South.

In webinar #1, MPH-alumnus and laureate John De Maesschalck (Belgium) will present his master thesis, entitled PREVENTING SUICIDE IN INDIGENOUS YOUTH – Insights from a scoping review to prevent indigenous youth suicide in the Andes region”.

Mental health has gained welcoming importance on the global health agenda over the last decades. Yet, the latest report of the UN Special Rapporteur on mental health highlights the ongoing prominence of the biomedical model and the biased use of a Eurocentric and psychiatric knowledge base in developing interventions.

Through a case study on indigenous youth suicide, John’s master thesis will be the starting point for a critical exchange on the importance of context and local knowledge systems for dealing with distress and how this translates in policy development. The Q&A-session, moderated by John’s thesis coach and mental health expert Willem van de Put, will enable to share topical experiences in other international settings. How is wellbeing and distress understood in your settings? Who has the power to define that and whose voices are left unheard? What are the strengths and limitations of the global mental health “evidence base”?


John De Maesschalck, MPH-alumnus 2021,  Belgium


Willem van de Put, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Public Health @ Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

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