During the summer of 2012, I spent 6 weeks at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine working as a research collaborator with the PRogramme for Improving Mental health CarE (PRIME) on a study looking at best strategies to integrate mental healthcare with primary care in Nepal . My prior experience in anthropology and global mental health was centered on data gathering and fieldwork, but I did not have any experience doing data analysis or writing up my findings. This project not only allowed me to develop these skills, but gave me the opportunity to become a part of a research community dedicated to developing culturally appropriate mental health services based on needs and input of local stakeholders.
For my project, I conducted a thematic analysis of qualitative data on mental health delivery and recovery. Data was collected in Chitwan, Nepal and consisted of interviews with focus groups and key informants, including health professionals, traditional healers, community leaders, religious leaders, policy makers and service users. When I returned to New Haven, I wrote up the findings, which contributed to a report on the Results of Qualitative Study among Stakeholders in Nepal, to share our methods and findings with other members of PRIME. The ultimate goal of our work is to use the findings to develop mental health programs in Nepal that improve health and socio-economic outcomes. I cannot wait to visit Chitwan and see our work put into action.
Dr. Anna Fiskin, Yale Psychiatry Resident