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GMH@Harvard: “How Did I Get Here?” Career Paths in Mental Health Series (Human Rights, Legal, Policy)

October 19, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Register for the webinar here!  The purpose of this panel webinar series is to highlight and learn from the career paths of individuals who have been successful in diverse aspects of global mental health work. These seminars will seek to connect students and interested individuals to professionals in the field by understanding their career paths and how their passion and experiences led them to pursue a career in global mental health. It also serves to encourage individuals to find their own path in the global mental health community.

The structure will be a facilitated panel discussion of three-four individuals who will be asked questions about their experience and advice they have for students and early career professionals. There will also be time for audience questions and discussion.

The October seminar will include individuals who have experience or are currently working with a focus on mental health in relation to human rights, law, and policy. All panelists are authors on the new GMH@Harvard led edited volume: Mental Health, Legal Capacity and Human Rights published by Cambridge University Press


Benjamin A. Barsky is a lawyer and Ph.D. student in health policy at Harvard University. He is also Legal Research Fellow at the Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care at the University of Pennsylvania . Ben researches in the areas of health law and justice, mental health policy, and disability rights. Before pursuing his doctoral studies, Ben clerked for a federal judge in Memphis, Tennessee, and occupied various positions in law and mental health policy.

Julie Hannah is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Essex, where she is also a member of the Human Rights Centre.  Since 2014, she has served as the Director of the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy, a leading centre of research on the subject.  She previously served as Senior Advisor to the former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health. Her current research focuses on the right to mental health, structural transformation and human rights, the intersection of medicalisation and criminalisation with human rights, and international drug policy.

Arjun Kapoor is a lawyer and psychologist with experience in human rights, access to justice and mental health in South Asia. Previously, he was appointed as Law Clerk to the Supreme Court of India where he assisted the Court in matters of constitutional law and public law. Subsequently, his work focused on developing socio-legal interventions on access to justice with communities in Gujarat, India. Arjun has a Masters’ degree in psychology with a focus on inter-disciplinary approaches to psychology. Currently, he works as Programme Manager & Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, Indian Law Society, Pune where he co-leads the India Mental Health Observatory and provides capacity building and technical support to a range of stakeholders for implementation of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 and National Mental Health Policy, 2014. He also co-leads project Outlive! a suicide prevention programme which addresses urban youth suicides and project ENGAGE which focuses on adolescent suicide prevention in rural settings.

Alberto Vasquez Encalada is a Peruvian lawyer and disability rights advocate. He holds an LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Having worked as research coordinator for the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities and with various UN entities, he is a senior advisor at the Center for Inclusive Policy (CIP) and the President of Sociedad y Discapacidad – SODIS. In Peru, he has been actively involved in drafting, advocating, and monitoring laws and policies relating to persons with disabilities. He also serves as a board member of the Disability Rights Fund/Disability Rights Advocacy Fund, the Bank Information Center, and the Latin American Network of Psychosocial Diversity.


October 19, 2021
10:00 am - 11:00 am
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