- (Regional) How are adolescent refugee mental health experiences shaped, addressed and treated on the South-East coast, and what clinical and subclinical forms of suffering are involved?
- (Political) How are adolescent refugee mental health experiences shaped by international politics, war, migration, and encounters with asylum and medical bureaucracies?
- (Services) What are i) adolescent refugees’ and ii) clinical and community practitioner’s experiences of mental health service provision, and to what extent are these complementary or in tension?
- (Policy) What impact does an in-depth study of adolescent refugees and those who provide mental health services on the South-East coast have for the ethical governance of migrant mental health, both locally and nationally?
The South-East coast is a unique peri-urban settlement site for asylum seekers, due to processing centres in nearby Kent and Croydon, Hastings’ longstanding use as a dispersal centre, and growing refugee communities. Few studies exist of i) how the mental health experiences of young people during critical times of transition are addressed by mental health service provision; ii) ways mental illness aetiologies are informed by demographic and political transformations globally, and in the South-East coast as a specific locality iii) the relevance of young refugees’ experiences for mental health policy and public debate.
This study will develop an interdisciplinary approach to mental illness and related treatment within historical processes of demographic, regional and individual transition (Khan 2017). Methods could include in-depth interviews and focus groups with clinical and community service providers and young people, small-scale ethnographic insights in user settings, and to coproduce critical bridgework during information exchange sessions between young people, carers, and service providers. Findings will be shared with relevant stakeholders to inform public health policy for marginalised groups (Zeeman et al 2017), specifically, adolescents affected by war and migration on the South-East coast.
This interdisciplinary project spans both ESRC and MRC remits, analysing clinical practice, mental healthcare governance (MRC), developmental psychology, migration studies, public health policy, medical anthropology, and politics (ESRC) in the specific peri-urban location of the South-East coast. It draws on the supervisors’ expertise in health promotion, clinical mental health provision, the ethics of mental health research with refugees and vulnerable groups, health governance and policy. Supervisors work across the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, the Schools of Health Sciences (Nursing and Allied Health Professions), and Applied Social Science; the Violence and Conflict Cluster; the Centres of Health Research, the Centre for Spatial Environmental and Cultural Politics (SECP) and lead the Health and Wellbeing Cluster (SASS).
Student Skills Requirements:
Essential:1st or 2:1 degree in a relevant discipline; an interest in meeting people of various backgrounds; good communication and organisation skills; skills in qualitative methods, research design, knowledge of research ethics regarding vulnerable groups.
Desirable: a post-graduate qualification at merit/ distinction (clinical psychology, community mental health, refugee studies); relevant practical experience e.g. in clinical or social work.