A lab focusing on the impact of social systems on the health of individuals and communities


The Time To Act Is Now

A conversation with Tahilia Rebello about why global mental health matters

Fields of Knowledge
  • Health / Sustainability
  • Social Justice

Organizing Institutions

Slought, Health Ecologies Lab


Jean-Michel Rabaté

Opens to public





4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

On the web

Slought and the Health Ecologies Lab at the University of Pennsylvania are pleased to announce The Time To Act Is Now, a conversation with Dr. Tahilia Rebello about why global mental health matters, on Friday, September 27, 2019 from 12-1:30pm at Slought. The event will begin with a short presentation by Dr. Rebello, followed by a moderated conversation with Dr. Keith Bredemeier, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Jean-Michel Rabaté, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, both at the University of Pennsylvania. This event is free to the public and lunch will be provided.

Around the globe, mental disorders contribute substantially to the burden of disease impacting both mortality and morbidity of millions across the planet. Mental Disorders are the number one cause of disability worldwide impacting both individuals (resulting in diminished quality of life, functional impairment, exacerbation of co-morbid medical conditions, negative social consequences) and communities (overburdening health systems locally and globally, significant economic and social costs, human rights impact). These disorders know no political, geographical and cultural bounds, and the burden of mental disorders on low- and middle-income countries is especially great given the enormous gaps in services for mental health, research, data collection infrastructure, public understanding, and acceptance of these conditions. It is estimated that approximately 80% of people with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries receive no treatment for their disorders, and even in high-income countries 35% to 50% of such individuals never receive care.

Historically, the global health agenda has prioritized communicable and non-communicable diseases other than mental health; however, the data now unequivocally and overwhelmingly point to the essential need to make mental health an integral component of the global health agenda. This conversation will explore the key principles and priorities in the field, discuss innovative models for addressing the gaps in mental health care worldwide, and examine strategic initiatives aimed at promoting mental health and reducing the burden of mental illness around the globe.

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Dr. Tahilia Rebello is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She also works jointly on the staffs of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Global Mental Health at Columbia University, as Research Program Manager, and the WHO, in the capacity of Project Coordinator for the Global Clinical Practice Network – an international network of over 10,000 health professionals established as part of the development of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

Rebello also provides scientific and logistical support to the Tohoku Theater Project, an initiative that uses theater as a means of broaching post-disaster mental health concerns and stigma among survivors of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in Japan. She also established and served as Program Director for the health education division for a non-profit clinic in NYC, and directed several women's health initiatives and advocacy campaigns as part of the V-Day Movement.

"In the field of global mental health, an enormous gap between what we know and what we do exists in the delivery of clinical care. Creative and effective strategies that surmount the barriers to provision of mental healthcare are essential to improve the lives of millions affected by mental illness."

-- Rebello, et al. "Innovative strategies for closing the mental health treatment gap globally." Curr Opin Psychiatry (2014)