Abstract Global mental health is a comparatively new area of study and research that is concerned with addressing inequities and inequalities in mental health provision across the globe. In recent years concerted efforts have been made to scale up mental health services in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). As such, there has been tendency to view LMIC as recipients of mental health-related knowledge, rather than providers of knowledge. Critics have referred to the prevailing flow of information from high-income countries (HIC) to LMIC as a form of medical imperialism. To redress the apparent imbalance in knowledge exchange, this paper reflects on valuable lessons that HIC can potentially learn from LMIC in terms of supporting mental well-being. Specifically, the paper reflects on how a greater willingness to embrace pluralism in HIC may facilitate people to engage with forms of support that they believe to be appropriate for them. The paper also explores examples of what are termed 'counterflows' of knowledge; ideas that have originated from LMIC that are influencing mental health-related practice in HIC. Barriers to potential counterflows are discussed.