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Dr Rochelle Burgess
30 Guilford Street
3rd Floor
London
WC1N 1EH
Dr Rochelle Burgess profile picture
Appointment
  • Associate Professor
  • Institute for Global Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
Biography

Rochelle is interested in the promotion of community approaches to health globally, and views communities as a route to understanding and responding to the political economy of poor health, with a particular emphasis on the impacts of broader development issues such as poverty, gender, systems of governance, and community mobilisation (civil society). For the past decade she has focused largely on mental wellbeing and the experience of common mental disorders, and is a leading voice in the emerging field of social interventions in Global Mental Health. She has led a range of projects that focus on the development of community mental health interventions (in South Africa, Colombia, UK and Zimbabwe) and has contributed her methodological and mental health expertise to projects on community led responses to other health challenges, such as child health in Nigeria.  


Rochelle is an Associate Professor in Global Health and Deputy Director of the UCL Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases, at the Institute for Global Health at UCL. She is the founder and Director of UCL's Global Network on Mental Health and Child Marriage.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health, member of the ESRC peer review college, UK Trauma Council, among other affiliations. 

Research Themes
Research Summary

Dr. Burgess's current research programme explores the role of community engagement in global health, with an emphasis on women's mental health. She is interested in the development and promotion of interventions that address the political economy of poor mental health globally. This involves the development of treatment options that respond to the social determinants of mental health (mainly poverty) alongside psychological and psychiatric care, for marginalised groups in low income and high income settings. Collaborative, participatory and coproduction approaches are a huge part of this work. 

In 2015 she was awarded an early career research award from the Richard Benjamin Trust to explore the ability for brief group interventions for women's depression to promote action on social determinants of health and wider forms of health related empowerment. The project was a collaboration with the DFID-funded PRIME research consortium, applying ethnographic and life history approaches. 

She co-led on one of the first studies of participatory approaches as a mode of intervention for mental health, with colleagues from  La Universidad de la Sabana, Bogota, in Colombia.  Their project Promoting trauma resilient communities, piloted Participatory Action Research Cycles (PAR) as a mode of intervention for mental health, in an attempt to prioritise local understandings of mental distress and recovery through community-led action on a range of contexts. This study was funded by Universidad de la Sabana and supported by the National Centre for Historic Memory, Colombia. 

In 2018 she launched UCLs Global Network on Mental Health and Child Marriage. Alongside colleagues from the WHO, African Union, ODI and other colleagues she is exploring the largely overlooked mental health consequences of child marriage in high prevalence settings. This includes work in Zimbabwe and Nepal with communities to understand these relationships and piloting supports for related mental health issues in these settings. She was recently awarded an Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard award to work with communities in Zimbabwe to map patterns of risk and resilience to mental health consequences of child marriage in families, and develop community led solutions to this global problem. 

In 2020 with colleagues at University of York, she launched a new network on Participatory approaches in Global Mental Health, of which she is Co-Director. 

Teaching Summary

Dr. Burgess is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2012 and 2017 she was awarded teaching awards in recognition for excellence in teaching at the LSE. She has been nominated for numerous student choice awards recognising her teaching and support for students. 


Within the space of her teaching, she utilises participatory methods as part of an action-oriented/case study approach to teaching, which gives students opportunities to observe complex theoretical concepts at work in real-world settings. 


She is former Director of the MSc in Global Health and Development, and currently responsible for teaching on the following courses at IGH: 

  • Power and Politics in Global Health (Co-lead with Prof. Sarah Hawkes)
  • Health Management (in an unequal world)
  • Mental health in global and social contexts (Co-led with Dr. Nicola Morant)


While she is not accepting any new PhD students until 2023, she is generally interested in supervising students working on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Mental health in low and middle income countries
  • Political economy of mental health 
  • Mental health of minority groups (including LGBTQI+)
  • Social justice and health 
  • Community based health services (and community approaches to design/intervention development)
  • Power dynamics in global health
  • Innovative qualitative methods for evaluation and work with minority groups 
  • Violence(s) and mental health (Symbolic, Structural, Intergenerational) 
  • Racism and mental health



Appointments
01-OCT-2021 Associate Professor In Global Health Institute for Global Health University College London, United Kingdom
SEP-2017 – JAN-2018 Lecturer in Global Health and Social Medicine Global Health and Social Medicine Kings College London, United Kingdom
MAY-2016 – SEP-2018 Visiting Fellow Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa London School of Economics, United Kingdom
JAN-2016 – DEC-2017 Visiting Lecturer (Guest Teacher) Department of International Development London School of Economics, United Kingdom
SEP-2014 – FEB-2016 Lecturer in Health and Social Care School of Social Professions London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2014   Doctor of Philosophy London School of Economics and Political Science
2013   PGCert London School of Economics and Political Science
2008   Master of Science London School of Economics and Political Science
2005   Bachelor of Science McMaster University
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