Distinguished Researcher, Douglas Institute
Neither the diagnosis nor treatment of schizophrenia should be made in isolation of cultural influences – including those imposed by a community's majority groups and health practitioners. The research of Ellen Corin, PhD, is based on the idea that, to be effective, mental health services must be situated within a larger social and cultural context that takes into account the plurality of practices, as well as cross-cultural differences in the perception, knowledge, and expertise of patients, families, communities, community groups, and health care professionals.
For over two decades, Ellen Corin has worked within provincial, national, and international arenas to introduce the concepts and methods developed in anthropology to the field of research and clinical practice in psychiatry. Her contributions include developing the Turning Point/Period Instrument (TPI) for the systematic study of the perceived evolution of signs, meaning and practices (symptoms, coping, explanations, reactions, help-seeking and social relations) during the early development of psychosis, from the perspective of patients, relatives and practitioners. The TPI is currently being implemented in Montreal with patients from different cultures, as well as in South India.
She has also developed, and chaired for 10 years, an inter-university research team, in partnership, with community groups working in the area of mental health and with refugees and immigrants. Prior to coming in Montreal, Ellen Corin conducted research and training in central Africa. Much of her research extends beyond Canadian borders. For example, Ellen Corin has participated in a series of research studies conducted first in Abitibi, Quebec, and later, in Africa, Latin America, and India, aimed at setting the foundation for the development of culturally and socially appropriate community mental health services.
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