International Collaboration on Cultural Relevance in Global Health: A Call to ActioN (I_CAN)

Founder: Shanaya Rathod
Co Founder: Rachel Tribe

The past several decades have seen a rapid social and cultural change in the ever- evolving socio-political and media world, as well as migration within and between nations. Societies are becoming multi-ethnic and poly-cultural in nature worldwide. It is now acknowledged that culture influences expression of psychological distress as well as help-seeking behaviours of people who need health services.

The concept of culture, and its influence upon individuals, is itself dynamic, and as individuals and societies change, so do the relevant aspects of their culture. Therefore, it would be fair to say that each individual has a unique culture that is part of a broader culture and is constantly changing as a result of various influences depending on tensions between the individual and their culture at relational interfaces.

The last two decades have seen a trend towards cultural adaptation of interventions for different cultural people in the HMIC and the LMIC (The World Bank has used income categories to classify countries into high, middle, and low, with the middle income category further subdivided into lower middle or upper middle income. We use the terms high and middle income (to include the upper middle income) countries (HMIC) and low and middle income (to include lower middle income countries) countries (LMIC).

Most nations and cultures are on a journey of understanding health (including mental health) and the development of services and treatments for illnesses with a cultural aspect in mind. A key aspect of delivering personalised care is the development and delivery of culturally adapted interventions that benefit cultural minority groups in developed countries and the majority and minority groups in developing countries.

Research also confirms that culturally adapted interventions are effective. However, the current criteria for judging good research designs may or may not be feasible for research on different cultural groups, and additionally, there are no paradigms for developing measures or interpreting existing measures to incorporate ethnicity and racialized experiences. Therefore, the generalisation of findings of the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions to many cultural groups may not be valid or even appropriate.This requires a development of fresh and novel research invervetnions to assess and implement culturally adapted health and social interventions.

The journey of acknowledging the need for culturally relevant services has begun but we are a long way from delivering the personalised care that people deserve. Systems of care across the globe need to adapt and adjust delivery of care in order to accommodate the impact of globalisation and therefore be able to deliver person- centred care.

We aim to establish a platform for world experts to collaborate and create networks to create good quality research programmes to achieve evidence based and culturally adapted interventions that are culturally relevant and provide personalised care which can be owned by embedded care givers and receivers.

This will influence practice, policy and training.

Careif Conference Poster

Expression of Interest Form


Careif/WPA International Survey of Wellbeing

‘Wellbeing’ is a difficult concept to define as it has different meanings at personal, cultural and global levels. Personal wellbeing has become ever more important as longevity, conflict, insecurity and environmental issues increase, and social and technological changes impact on our individual and collective lives. Careif and the WPA are now launching this ambitious on-line survey of international wellbeing during May/June 2016.  This survey offers participants an opportunity to reflect on their own perceptions of wellbeing and their lifestyle. Responses will enable Careif and WPA to seek indicators of practice which may enhance wellbeing in different cultural and sub-cultural contexts and make recommendations to policy makers.

You are invited to complete this brief questionnaire. It should take only a few minutes. All responses are anonymous and data will be collated and utilised for future research purposes only. A copy of the final results will be made available on the Careif ( and WPA ( websites.


Thank you for contributing to this important work.


Cultural Consultation Club event

Our next Careif, Centre for Psychiatry, CCS Cultural Consultation Club Education Event will be held on 13th April 2015 from 2.00pm-4.30pm, in Room G06, Joseph Rotblat Building at Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ

This State of the Art themes will be:

Emerging dialogue of working together with Ruqyah healers


Religious Healing

There is no charge but please RSVP your attendance to Lisa Kass ( QMUL CCS

Management of death between new social emergencies and their solution

As the world becomes increasingly integrated, political, social, and cultural boundaries are being re-configured and new challenges are emerging. This conference aims to describe how death and the fear of death promote violence, terrorism and war and more important, how peace and reconciliation strategies can reduce the fear of death’s impact on human behaviour. Indeed, the conference’s overarching goal is to explore the lines of pacifist thought in the context of international non-violent strategies and practices that can be adopted to find a peaceful solution to terrorism, war, and their consequences.

CAREIF is pleased to be supporting partner of this event:


Intercultural Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Careif is pleased to be supporting this exciting and innovative programme – from the Centre for Psychiatry, QMUL- aimed at clinicians and senior professionals working within health and social care settings. This state of the art programme has been developed as a partnership between Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and the Refugee Therapy Centre (RTC). Completion of the course will lead to a QMUL degree, and registration with the RTC as a fully qualified Intercultural Therapist. RTC is an organisation member of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis (CPJA).


For more information please go to: