Dr Alex Cohen
BA MA PhD
I am an anthropologist with interests in models of community mental health services and sociocultural and environmental influences on the mental health of populations. I have conducted ethnographic research on how social worlds shaped the emotions and behaviours of homeless mentally ill persons living in the Skid Row district of Los Angeles and lead the development of a qualitative case study method to monitor and evaluate community mental health programs in low-income countries. In addition to being co-author of three of the papers in the 2007 Lancet series on Global Mental Health, I have edited two case books of mental health programs and have published literature reviews on the mental health of indigenous people, mental health services in primary care and the course and outcome of schizophrenia in low and middle income countries. My current research includes: development of an intervention to prevent depression among at risk older adults in Goa, India; and conducting a pilot study to establish a set of methodologies to estimate the epidemiology, phenomenology, and course and outcome of psychosis in research sites in India, Nigeria, and Trinidad.
From 2001 to 2008, I was the academic director of the Training Program in International Mental Health (funded by the Fogarty International Center of the US NIH), which offered Chinese and Indonesian psychiatrists the opportunity to spend an academic year in the Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School. During those years, I also helped to establish and taught in the International Mental Health Leadership Program in the Centre for International Mental Health, the University of Melbourne. I was one of the organisers of the Global Mental Health Module at LSHTM (2009 to 2012). In addition to being the Course Director of the MSc in Global Mental Health, I am the co-organiser of the module Fundamentals in Global Mental Health and contribute to the teaching of other required modules in the MSc.
My current research includes two studies: 1) a pilot study on the epidemiology, phenomenology, and course and outcome in catchments areas in India, Nigeria, and Trinidad; 2) a pilot study to develop an intervention to prevent depression among older adults in Goa, India.