The Adler School social media team is blogging with updates and reaction throughout the next two days (Sept. 19-2o) from “The Social Determinants of Urban Mental Health: Paving the Way Forward” in Chicago, hosted by the Adler School Institute on Social Exclusion. Posts are written by attendees, each summarizing speakers, presentations and observations from the conference. Follow more conversation on Twitter (#ISE2012).
Kwame McKenzie, M.D. [Medical Director at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada] is an internationally recognized expert on the social causes of mental illness, suicide and the development of effective, equitable health systems. Dr. McKenzie has set up award-winning services and training for healthcare professionals and researchers around the world.
Dr. McKenzie’s presentation on “How Do Cities Cause Mental Illness?” spoke about the evidence in research that is there to help eliminate the inequalities that we know exist in our communities. There is an increased risk of developing psychosis based on the significance and substantial variation in the incidence across places and groups within society.
Dr. McKenzie presented on a four-dimensional model of risk of psychosis:
- Individual Factors
- Group-Level Factors
- Risk between Individual Factors and Group Factors
There is an increasing list of factors shown to have an impact on the developing mind during sensitive periods: however, the onset of mental illnesses such as psychoses are associated with early life adversity, minority group position and cannabis use.
But, being born and brought up in a city is the most important risk factor. Definitely worth thinking about.
- YeVette Harris, Adler School of Professional Psychology