Auckland, New Zealand, 2001
Kam Bhui and Albert Persaud, leading figures in the world of transcultural psychiatry, are in New Zealand on an international exchange. It’s a country that strives hard to meet the wellbeing needs of its indigenous Maori people as well as incomers from Europe, Asia and the South Pacific, while respecting their different cultures and traditions.
Both men have many years’ experience blending research with policy and practice but are frustrated by the failure of so many mental health systems to share and learn from the experience of others, particularly the users of those services.
Inspired by their earlier experience of the resilience of Bangladeshi street children, the practice of traditional medicine in China, the entrepreneurship of the young children at the foot of the pyramids in Egypt and the visual pain of poverty and ill health much of which is preventable; they are concerned that valuable research findings too rarely impact on real life. They want to bridge the gap between the expert, the communities and the individual, believing that all groups have much to contribute to each other.
While working with Asian groups in Auckland, New Zealand, the idea forms: ‘Why not establish an international organisation dedicated to achieving this?’ The idea for Careif is born.
Over the next few years, they develop their ideas and recruit a number of like-minded experts to support the founding of this organisation.
Fast forward to February 2007 – venue: the House of Lords, London, England – and the formal launch of the brand new charity, the Centre for Applied Research and Evaluation: International Foundation, Careif for short.
As an expanding global charity, Careif is fortunate to have its office accommodation at the Centre for Psychiatry, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine & Dentistry.
Careif focuses on work that its trustees can have greatest impact on: establishing better access to education and qualifications in transcultural psychiatry; sharing knowledge on wellbeing through a series of high-impact events; and fostering strategic links, nationally and internationally, with like-minded organisations, especially those working with young people.
Careif core vision can be expressed simply as practice informs research informs practice. As leading practitioners and researchers in the field, the trustees are aware that this virtuous cycle often fails at the point where research informs practice. Careif seeks to remedy this, drawing on the knowledge base of our trustees and associates