Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
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Rob Whitley, PhD

Researcher, Douglas Hospital Research Centre

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University

Areas of expertise
Mental health of immigrants and ethno-cultural minorities, recovery, community integration, religion and mental health, qualitative research

Rob Whitley is the Principal Investigator of the Social Psychiatry Research and Interest Group (SPRING) at the Douglas Hospital Research Center. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University.

His two main research (and action) interests are recovery and stigma. His research shows the importance of factors such as gainful employment, secure housing, religion/ spirituality and rewarding social connections in enhancing recovery from severe mental illness. It also shows the devastating impact of stigma. He takes a social justice and human rights approach to his activities, using his research results to push for change to promote recovery and diminish stigma.

He has published over 100 papers in the field of social psychiatry, and his work has been funded by CIHR, FRSQ, NIDRR, and the MRC (U.K). He is currently the recipient of a CIHR New Investigator Award and an FRSQ Junior 1 Research Scholar Award. Current projects include (i) a study examining recovery in diverse ethno-cultural groups in Montreal; (ii) a longitudinal analysis of the tone and content of media coverage of mental illness in Canada; (iii) a participatory video study involving the creation, distribution and evaluation of anti-stigma and pro-recovery videos by people with mental illness.

While the focus of his activities is in Quebec and Canada, he is proud to be a member of a worldwide community of scholars devoted to promoting recovery and reducing stigma. As such, he maintains strong collaborations with numerous institutions, including Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, Howard University, the University of Addis Ababa, the University of the West Indies, the Institute of Psychiatry (King’s College London) and the University of Melbourne.

Whitley is always available to discuss recovery and stigma with interested parties, and hopes one day to live in a world where people with mental illness can fulfill their potential and enjoy their full rights as citizens free of fear and stigma.


Contact information
Douglas Institute
Pavillon Perry Pavilion
Room E-3108
6875, boulevard LaSalle
Montreal (Quebec)
H4H 1R3
Phone :
514 761-6131
ext.: 4339

Fax :
514 762-3049
Research division :
  • - Psychosociale
Awards and distinctions :
  • - CIHR New Investigator Award
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