At a time when mental health is higher on the political agenda in many parts of the world than it has ever been, it is important that national and international debates are able to draw easily and clearly on relevant scholarship in history and anthropology. With that in mind, this project aims to bring together a small group of interested academics, clinicians, and service users to explore practical ways in which historians and anthropologists working on mental health might serve as ‘critical allies’ to modern mental health movements in the UK and further afield.