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DEBATE/PERSPECTIVE/VIEWPOINT
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 291-296

The biopsychosocial approach and global mental health: Synergies and opportunities


1 Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom; Department of Clinical Services, Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
2 University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
3 University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Emmanuel Babalola
Department of Clinical Services, Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_13_17

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The biopsychosocial (BPS) approach proposed by Engel four decades ago was regarded as one of the most important developments in medicine and psychiatry in the late 20th century. Unlike the biomedical model, the BPS approach posits that biological, psychological, and social factors play a significant role in disease causation and treatment. This approach brought about a new way of conceptualizing mental health difficulties and engendered changes within research, medical teaching and practice. Global mental health (GMH) is a relatively new area of study and practice that seek to bridge inequities and inequality in mental healthcare services provision for people worldwide. The significance of the BPS approach for understanding mental health difficulties is being debated in the context of GMH initiatives. This paper critically evaluates strengths and weaknesses of the BPS approach to mental health difficulties and explores its relevance to GMH initiatives.


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