Currently, I am Lecturer in Transcultural Mental Health and Mental Health and Law at Queen Mary University of London. From 2007, I have been both a Research Fellow and Lecturer at the Global and Cultural Mental Health Unit, Centre for Mental Health (formerly Centre for International Mental Health) at The University of Melbourne. My main area of research and training are in Community and Cultural Psychology/Psychiatry, with a focus on suicide and suicide prevention. I am particularly interested in the socio-cultural contexts of suicide and suicide prevention; human rights and social justice/social change; violence against women and child abuse; the mental health/wellbeing and suicidal behaviours of marginalized, disadvantaged and/or culturally-different populations (especially refugees and immigrants and in low and middle Income countries), ‘lived experiences’, and research/evaluation methodologies. I have interdisciplinary qualitative and multi-method research and evaluation experience with an emphasis on culturally-appropriate, applied community-based participatory approaches, and arts-based/visual methods. Recently, I was awarded a University of Melbourne Early Career Research Award to conduct an ethnographic documentary-based project about violence against women and suicide prevention in the Philippines, which is currently under completion. I am also the coordinator of the interdisciplinary Melbourne Refugee Studies Program and co-coordinator of the knowledge exchange project ‘Visualizing health and well-being’.
In 2008 I completed a PhD in Cultural Psychiatry with a dissertation on ‘The cultural meanings of suicide: A comparison between Australian, Indian and Italian students’, with the University of Queensland, Australia. With a growing interest in applied, activist and social-change driven research, I later completed an MPhil in Visual Anthropology/Ethnographic Documentary (School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK) with a dissertation and ethnographic film-documentary about human rights violations of people with mental health issues in Indonesia (http://movie-ment.org/breakingthechains). Priot to this, I worked in Italy (where I was born) as a psychologist, after completing my studies (First Class Honours) in Clinical and Community Psychology at the University of Padua and in Data Analysis in Psychology (PGCertificate, University of Florence).