The Mental Health Work Group in the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia has a global and social-ecological focus that locates individuals within broader family, community, and cultural contexts.

This view acknowledges that prevention and treatment must focus on both psychiatric risk and protective factors to promote recovery and resilience in the face of adversity. To impact individuals, interventions often need to address the larger social context, including the family, community, and policy levels. Thus, our group considers the contextual impact of risk factors such as individual trauma, family violence, social disruption, and cultural stigma; but also seeks to enhance the protection offered by variables such as coping skills, strong parenting, community leadership, and religious faith. Further, we focus on mental health disorders and care systems across settings, including:

  • Cross-cultural analyses of mental health problems and treatments
  • Interdisciplinary research methods to address the intersection of mental health and physical health problems
  • Implementation of care programs in low resource clinical and community settings
  • Bidirectional learning in terms of bridging domestic and international research to better translate research findings into effective policy and practice.


Nate Hansen (Chair)
Steve Rathbun
Zhuo Adam Chen
Sally Kirklewki