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Dr Alexis Palfreyman
Institute for Global Health
30 Guilford Street
Dr Alexis Palfreyman profile picture
  • Research Fellow
  • Institute for Global Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Dr. Palfreyman is a critical feminist global health researcher with a multidisciplinary background  in sexual and reproductive health and rights, maternal health, violence and mental health. She has supported multiple international health programmes and capacity- and partnership-strengthening initiatives across the Global South. This work is complemented by extensive UK-based research with the NHS and Local Authorities focused on understanding health needs and behaviour, service access and delivery for vulnerable and marginalised populations.

Having held a range of research and programmatic posts with the London School of Economics, Imperial College London, University College London, and Options Consultancy Services, Ltd., Dr. Palfreyman has had the privilege of working with expert academic and policy groups, and major implementing/donor agencies including World Bank and World Food Programme, Unicef, Dubai Cares, Vitol Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and many others.

Technical areas include:

- Sexual/reproductive health and rights
- Maternal health
- Global mental health and critical suicidology
- Gender-based violence / FGM
- Comprehensive school health and nutrition
- Access to and Quality of care
- Mixed methods research

Research Summary

Dr. Palfreyman's research emphasises the interconnectedness of SRHR, maternal health, interpersonal and self-directed violence and mental health. Her current mixed-methods research aims to develop adaptable, feasible packages of care to support the mental health of survivors of violence against women, modern slavery and conflict in South Asia. 

She is part of a multi- disciplinary, -institution, and -country NIHR-funded Global Health Research Group generating new survivor-led evidence to shape promising mental health responses for those affected by diverse forms of violence in Afghanistan, India and Sri Lanka. Co-leading the Sri Lanka programme of work, she is supporting an ambitious nationally representative survey capturing the epidemiology of violence and mental distress amongst adolescents (15-24), and qualitative evidence generation on survivors' needs, priorities and barriers to psychosocial healing in the wake of GBV.  

Dr. Palfreyman has worked in Sri Lanka for nearly a decade on a variety of issues, most earnestly in centring the neglected female experience of self-harm and suicide. Pushing for a gender-conscious revolution in suicidology, her research argues that a continuation of the current approach to suicide prevention is not only insufficient, but potentially detrimental to the project of reducing risk and social suffering for women and girls in Sri Lanka and beyond.  

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