About the Division of Philosophy and Ethics of Mental Health 


To develope academic capacity in the interdisciplinary area of Philosophy and Mental Health with a view to building on international developments in the field, contributing to the development of person-centred mental health and responding to the diversity of individual and cultural needs and interests of mental health care users, communities, psychiatrists, other mental health care workers, and philosophers.


Development of training and teaching capacity

  • To develop and maintain dynamic, sustainable, and practically relevant training programmes in Philosophy and Mental Health, which are person-centred and relevant to the needs of Africa and South Africa
  • To build intellectual and practical skills capacity in philosophy and mental health among the diverse people of Africa and South Africa
  • To enhance teaching and learning opportunities and research studentships

Development of research capacity

  • To undertake and advance rigorous conceptual and empirical research in philosophy and mental health
  • To enhance capability in conceptual and empirical research in mental health
  • To build logistical capacity for substantial, high quality conceptual and empirical research in mental health
  • To help build excellence in mental health practice through philosophical research on the concepts guiding mental health practice
  • To advance philosophical theory by making the phenomena of psychiatry more accessible to philosophers
  • To enhance and facilitate collaborative learning through exchange of ideas, experience, knowledge and skills relevant to mental health practice and philosophy
  • To facilitate participation in national and international developments, publications, conferences, organisations and events that are related to philosophy and mental health

Influence mental health practice, services, policies & education

  • To enhance the effectiveness of psychiatrists and other mental health care workers as practitioners, teachers, and researchers by illuminating the conceptual and philosophical issues embedded in these activities.
  • To influence mental health practice, service development, policies and education guided by an appreciation for individual differences and respect for diversity among health care users, societies, psychiatrists and other mental health care workers.
  • To advance responsible debates on contentious issues in mental health practices, services, policies and education in Africa and South Africa and on issues of international importance
  • To collaborate with international, African and South African tertiary institutions to advance the educational, research, and clinical interests in philosophy and psychiatry respectively and as an interdisciplinary subject.

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