Medical Diplomacy and Global Mental Health: From Community and National Institutions to Regional Centers of Excellence
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We explore how regional medical diplomacy can increase funding for global mental health initiatives. Interventions for infectious diseases have dominated medical diplomacy by focusing on security concerns. The global mental health movement has adopted similar strategies, but unsuccessfully since mental illnesses do not cause international epidemics. Instead, realpolitik arguments may increase funding by prioritizing economic productivity and regional diplomacy based on cultural ties to advance mental health services and research at the community level. In South Asia, initiatives to train personnel and provide refugee services offer a foundation for regional centers of excellence. This model can be expanded elsewhere.