New Directors of the Centre for Global Mental Health announced

24 Mar 2022

We are delighted to announce that Professor Crick Lund and Dr Charlotte Hanlon will become the new Co-Directors of the Centre for Global Mental Health (CGMH) at King’s College London, joining the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) Director, Dr Ritz Kakuma, to lead the joint Centre. This begins a new era of CGMH at King’s with both Co-Directors based in Africa – Crick in South Africa and Charlotte in Ethiopia.

Both Crick and Charlotte have been active in the field of Global Mental Health for nearly 20 years, with a focus on research that aims to improve the lives of people with lived experience of mental illness in diverse settings. They bring to CGMH leadership a firm conviction of the need to invest in the next generation of GMH researchers and both have extensive experience with strengthening capacity for mental health research globally. Crick and Charlotte also bring a desire to make research count. Their experience with global and national policy engagement, as well as close working with community stakeholders and people with lived experience, will be vital to keep CGMH relevant and impactful.

We would also like to recognise the outgoing Director, Professor Ricardo Araya, for his important contributions to CGMH at KCL over the past 5 years. Among many contributions, his leadership of the 10-year anniversary celebrations of the CGMH was a key milestone, which consolidated the history and future direction of the Centre.

Speaking about their new role, Crick said: “We are very grateful to be given this opportunity, particularly at an exciting juncture in the field of global mental health. From our earlier focus on scaling up mental health treatments, global mental health is broadening to include a stronger emphasis on the social determinants of mental health, disability, human rights and the links between mental health and broader social and economic development – all vital in the era of COVID and climate change”.

Charlotte said: “The successes of CGMH derive from its networks and partnerships around the world. That is the identity of CGMH that we plan to cultivate and develop: outward looking, with our feet in low-and middle-income countries, and with our partners at centre stage”

Ricardo said: “it is wonderful to see that the Centre would be led by two young but experienced successful KCL researchers who have a strong base in Africa. This is a new strategy to strengthen a more devolved centre to LMICs, which is where the bulk of the group’s work is currently placed. There are a number of other great ideas begin discussed to strengthen the group so please join the new leaders to contribute to this process”

To hear about the plans that Crick and Charlotte have for the Centre, and for your opportunity to ask questions, we will be holding an in-person/online hybrid event on Thursday 7th April at 15:30-16:30 UK time. To attend the event in person or online please register here