Researcher, Douglas Hospital Research Centre
Rob Whitley, PhD, is a social scientist with considerable experience working at the intersection of psychiatry, sociology and anthropology. His work has focused on the mental health and health service experience of marginalized groups, including immigrants, ethno-cultural minorities, the urban poor and single mothers.
Whitley is particularly interested in the concept of recovery, examining barriers and facilitators to recovery within both health services and the wider socio-cultural environment. He and his colleagues have evaluated many recovery-oriented psychosocial interventions such as supported employment and illness management programs for people with severe mental illness. They have shown that cross-cultural communication, discrimination, stigma, religion and family involvement all play a role in influencing recovery.
Rob Whitley’s current research includes examining community integration and recovery among minority women with chronic mental health problems. This research is providing insights into how best to help minorities and other marginalized populations with psychiatric disorders recover.
Whitley is also conducting a systematic analysis of media coverage of mental illness in Canada, in order to discern whether the media is taking a more positive approach to mental health.
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