Migrant mental health

This week I’m really pleased to welcome David Ansari to the University of York. David is a collaborator of the International Centre for Mental Health Social Research (ICMHSR) from the University of Chicago and he’s coming to discuss some research plans with me.

I worked with David on the development of the Connecting People Intervention when he undertook ethnographic fieldwork with me in the UK. A skilled ethnographer, David helped us to explore good practice in supporting people with their relationships with others.

International Centre for Mental Health Social Research lunchtime seminar

On Thursday 5th March there is an opportunity to meet David when he talks about his own work on migrant mental health. He will be presenting at the ICMHSR lunchtime seminar at 12pm in A/C/209 at the University of York. Further information can be found on the ICMHSR events page, but here are more details about his project:

Diagnosing disorder and recognising difference: Training in immigrant mental health and social services in Paris

In France, the Republican ideal of equality has led to the lack of official acknowledgement of cultural difference within the country’s multicultural population. In the context of mental health services, France’s policies of inclusion have precluded the establishment of specific state-sponsored services for migrant and minority groups. However, previous research describes how clinicians have developed approaches to address the mental health needs of France’s migrant groups with varying degrees of state recognition and acceptance by other clinicians.

My dissertation project explores how clinicians and front-line workers, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, interpreters, and medical secretaries, manage tensions between state discourses of providing universal care for all citizens, expertise regarding the cultural and structural factors impacting mental illness, and popular sentiments about immigration in France. I examine how knowledge of immigrants’ experiences of mental illness is taught, contested, and applied in mental health and social care settings. I focus on the ways in which actors in these service settings disentangle knowledge about structural barriers to mental health from perceptions regarding cultural factors that impact care.

My thesis involves an ethnographic project at a multilingual mental health centre in Paris. I will build on previous research by examining how clinicians are trained to recognize culturally complex cases of mental illness and how protocols are developed to address the mental health needs of migrants.

All are welcome!

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