Dr. Kirmayer is the author of Understanding Trauma: Integrating Biological, Clinical, and Cultural Perspectives (2008), Healing Traditions: The Mental Health of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada (2009), and Cultural Consultation: Encountering the Other in Mental Health Care (International and Cultural Psychology) (July 31, 2013, listed at a mere $179.00), as well as other books.
Laurence J. Kirmayer, MD, FRCPC, (http://bit.ly/12Tpehc) is James McGill Professor and Director, Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University. He is Editor-in-Chief of Transcultural Psychiatry, a quarterly scientific journal published by Sage (UK) and directs the Culture and Mental Health Research Unit at the Department of Psychiatry, Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital in Montreal where he conducts research on mental health services for immigrants and refugees, psychiatry in primary care, the mental health of Canadian Aboriginal peoples, and the anthropology of psychiatry.
He holds a CIHR Senior Investigator Award for a research program entitled The integration of culture in psychiatric theory and practice, which includes studies on the relevance of the cultural formulation in psychiatric consultation and a cross-national comparative study of models of mental health care for multicultural societies.
His past research includes funded studies on the development and evaluation of a cultural consultation service in mental health, pathways and barriers to mental health care for immigrants, somatization in primary care, cultural concepts of mental health and illness in Inuit communities, risk and protective factors for suicide among Inuit youth in Nunavik (Northern Québec), and the role of metaphor in psychiatric theory and practice.
Culture impacts mental illness so that culturally relevant care is needed for patients of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. From a social point of view, there has been rapid social and cultural change, as well as migration within and between nations. Societies are becoming multi-ethnic and poly-cultural in nature worldwide. From a clinical perspective, there is a need to improve cultural competence to provide proper psychiatric care of each patient, considering the ethnic/race/cultural background, irrespective of minority or majority status. There is increasing awareness around the world of this need. There is a growing desire to study and communicate about the influence of cultural factors on psychological well-being, psychological stress and illness, and mental health care for people around the world.