The New School

Consortium partner Professor Adam Brown (New School for Social Research, Director of Global Mental Health Lab and formerly of Sarah Lawrence College), will be leading a 4-week intensive study abroad program examining mental health issues among forcibly displaced individuals in Switzerland. The topic is sparsely researched, even though refugees and asylum seekers have shown elevated rates of Postā€Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression.

Through a collaboration with the University Hospital in Bern, Professor Adam Brown has been studying mental health issues among asylum seekers in the Emergency Department and other departments throughout the hospital over the past two years. In addition, through this partnership and with the support of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, Hospitals for Equity Network, a number of outreach and community-based treatment strategies are being developed to reduce stigma and reduce long wait times for mental health care.

Students participating in this study-abroad program will be based in Bern, Switzerland. They will engage in a range of research activities and participate in classes led by Adam Brown, graduate students, and an interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners working in Switzerland. Students will be expected to identify a research project which they will work on independently or in teams, which may include the analysis of secondary data or the collection of new data. Students will also be given the chance to observe medical professionals and interview people working in refugee mental health care.

Students should have some background in statistics and social science research methods if planning on applying for this study abroad program. These projects are ideally suited for students interested in the intersection of medicine, healthcare, psychology, research methods, translation, statistics, politics, history (and emerging fields in history such as the history of emotions, or migration journeys and migrant knowledges).

In addition to the work in the hospital, ideally, students will spend a few hours each week volunteering for a local organization that helps to support refugees.