Rob Whitley is a social scientist with considerable experience working at the intersection of psychiatry, sociology and anthropology. His work has focused on the mental health and health service experience of marginalized groups, including immigrants, ethno-cultural minorities, the urban poor and single mothers. Whitley is particularly interested in the concept of recovery, examining barriers and facilitators to recovery within both health services and the wider socio-cultural environment. He and his colleagues have evaluated many recovery-oriented psychosocial interventions such as supported employment, supportive housing and illness self-management programs. They have shown that cross-cultural communication, discrimination, stigma, religion and family involvement all play a role in influencing mental health service utilization and recovery.
Whitley’s current research includes examining community integration and recovery among minorities with severe mental illness. This research is providing insights into how best to help minorities and other marginalized populations recover. Whitley is also conducting a systematic analysis of media coverage of mental illness in Canada, in order to discern whether the media are taking a more positive approach to mental health. Whitley is particularly interested in the relationship between religion/ spirituality and mental health. Whitley is also interested in mental health and mental health services in developing countries. With colleagues, he has conducted research in Ethiopia and Jamaica, and continues to work in global mental health.
robert [dot] whitley [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (email) website
Whitley, R. (in press) ‘Thank you God’: religion and recovery from dual diagnosis among low-income African Americans. Transcultural Psychiatry.
Whitley, R. (in press). Religious competence as cultural competence: A resource for recovery. Transcultural Psychiatry.
Whitley, R. (in press). Being gay in straight places: Exploring density effects on the mental health of homosexual and bisexual populations. International Journal of Epidemiology.
Whitley, R., Rousseau, C., Carpenter-Song, E., & Kirmayer, L. (in press). Evidence-Based Medicine: Opportunities and challenges in a diverse society. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.
Hipolito, M., Carpenter-Song, E., Malik, M., & Whitley, R. (in press). Capacity building for African American mental health training and research: Lessons from the Howard-Dartmouth collaborative summer school. Academic Psychiatry.
Gonzalez, J., Cortes, D., Reeves, T., Whitley, R., Lopez, L., Bond, G., Velligan, D., & Miller, A. (in press). Community mental health agency views of research. Community Mental Health Journal.
Barre, L. K., Ferron, J., Davis, K., & Whitley, R. (2011). Healthy eating in persons with serious mental illness: Understanding and barriers. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 34, 304-10.
Carpenter-Song, E., Whitley, R., Lawson, W. B., Quimby, E., & Drake, R. E. (2011). Reducing disparities in mental health care: suggestions from the Dartmouth-Howard Collaboration. Community Mental Health Journal, 47, 1-13
Whitley, R., Kostick, K., & Bush, P. (2010). Desirable characteristics and competencies of supported employment specialists: An empirically grounded framework. Administration and Policy in Mental Health Services Research, 37, 509-19.
Whitley, R., & Drake, R. (2010). Recovery: A dimensional approach. Psychiatric Services, 61, 1248-50.
Kostick, K., Whitley, R., & Bush, P. (2010). Client centeredness in supported employment: Specialist and supervisor perspectives. Journal of Mental Health, 19, 523-31.
Hanlon, C., Whitley, R., Wondimagegn, D., Alem, A., & Prince, M. (2010). Between life and death: Exploring the socio-cultural context of antenatal mental distress in rural Ethiopia. Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 13, 385-93.
Davis, K., Brunette, M., Vorhies, V., Ferron, J., & Whitley, R. (2010). A qualitative study of how individuals with severe mental illness assess smoking risk. Mental Health and Substance Use: Dual Diagnosis, 3, 110-23.
Whitley, R. (2010) Atheism and Mental Health. Harvard Review of Psychiatry 18: 190-4.
Whitley, R. (2010) Rediscovering hope. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal 33: 239-41.
Whitley, R. and Lawson W B (2010) The psychiatric rehabilitation of African-Americans with Severe Mental Illness. Psychiatric Services 61: 508-11.
Groleau, D,, Whitley, R. Lesperance, F. & Kirmayer, L. (2010) Spiritual reconfigurations of self after a myocardial infarction: influence of culture and place. Health and Place 16: 853-60.
Woltmann, E. & Whitley, R. (2010) Shared decision making in public mental health care: perspectives from consumers living with severe mental illness. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal 34: 29-36.
Frounfelker, R., Glover, C., Teachout, A., Wilkniss, S. & Whitley, R. (2010) Access to supported employment for consumers with criminal justice involvement. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal 34: 49-56.
Arthur, C., Hickling, F.W., Robertson-Hickling, H., Gibson, R. & Whitley, R. (2010) Mad, sick, head nuh good: mental illness in Jamaican Communities. Transcultural Psychiatry 47: 252-275.
Swain, K., Whitley, R. McHugo, G.J., Drake, R.E. (2010) The sustainability of evidence based practices in routine mental health settings. Community Mental Health Journal 46: 119-29.
Pierre, A., Minn, P., Sterlin, C., Annoual, P., Jaimes, A., Raphael, F., Raikhel, E., Whitley, R., Rousseau, C. & Kirmayer, L. (2010) Culture and Mental Health in Haiti: a Literature Review. WHO: Geneva (reprinted in Revue Haitienne de Santé Mentale 1: 13-42 and Sante Mentale au Quebec 35: 13-47).
Whitley, R., Kostick, K.M. & Bush, P.W. (2009) Supported employment specialist strategies to assist clients with severe mental illness. Psychiatric Services 60: 1637-41.
Whitley, R. (2009) Mastery of mothering skills and satisfaction with associated health services: a socio-cultural study. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 33: 343-365.
Whitley, R. (2009) The implications of race and ethnicity for shared decision making. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal 32: 227-230.
Whitley, R., Gingerich, S., Lutz, W., & Mueser, K.T. (2009) Facilitators and Barriers to the Implementation of the Illness Management and Recovery Program in Community Mental Health Settings. Psychiatric Services 60: 202-9.
Whitley, R. (2009) Introducing psychiatrists to qualitative research: a guide for instructors. Academic Psychiatry 33: 252-5.
Hanlon, C., Whitley, R. Alem, A., Wondi, D. & Prince, M. (2009) Postnatal mental distress in relation to the sociocultural practices of childbirth: an exploratory qualitative study from Ethiopia. Social Science and Medicine 69: 1211-19.
Anbesse, B., Hanlon, C., Alem, A., Packer, S. & Whitley, R. (2009) Migration and mental health: a study of low-income Ethiopian women working in middle-eastern countries. International Journal of Social Psychiatry 55: 557-68.
Kirmayer, L.J., Sehdev, M., Whitley, R., Dandeneau, S. & Isaac, C. (2009) Community Resilience: models, metaphors and measures. Journal of Aboriginal Health 5: 62-117.
Mancini, A., Moser, L., Whitley, R., McHugo, G., Bond, G., Finnerty, M. & Burns, B. (2009) Assertive Community Treatment: Facilitators and Barriers to Implementation in Routine Mental Health Settings. Psychiatric Services 60: 189-95.
Drake, R.E., Wilkniss, S., Frounfelker, R., Whitley, R., Zipple, A.M., McHugo, G.J., Bond, G.R. (2009) The Thresholds-Dartmouth partnership and research on shared decision making. Psychiatric Services 60: 142-4.
Strickler, D., Whitley, R., Becker, D. & Drake, R. (2009) First person accounts of long-term employment activity among people with dual diagnosis. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal 32: 261-8
Bond, G.R., Drake, R.E., McHugo, G.J., Rapp,C.A. & Whitley, R. (2009) Strategies for improving fidelity in the National Evidence-Based Practices Project. Research on Social Work Practice 19: 569-581
Whitley, R. & Kirmayer, L.J. (2008) Perceived stigmatization of young mothers: an exploratory study of psychological and social experience. Social Science and Medicine 66: 339-48.
Whitley, R., Harris, M. & Drake, R.E. (2008) Safety and security in small-scale recovery housing for people with severe mental illness: an inner-city case study. Psychiatric Services 59: 165-9.
Whitley, R., Harris, M., Fallot, R.D. & Wolfson-Berley, R. (2008) The active ingredients of intentional recovery communities: Focus group evaluation. Journal of Mental Health 17: 173-182.
Whitley, R. & Green, S. (2008) Psychosocial stressors and buffers affecting Black Women in Montreal. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health 27: 37-48.
Whitley, R., Harris, M. & Anglin, J. (2008) Refuge or rehabilitation? Assessing the development of a Women’s Empowerment Center for people with Severe Mental Illness. Community Mental Health Journal 44: 253-60.
Whitley, R. (2008) Postmodernity and mental health. Harvard Review of Psychiatry 16: 352-64.
Whitley, R. & Drake, R.E. (2008). How Do Clients Obtain Mental Health Information? Commentary on "Consumer Perspectives on Information and Other Inputs to Decision-Making: Implications for Evidence-Based Practice". Community Mental Health Journal 44: 457-8.
Whitley, R. (2008) Is psychiatry a religion? Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 101: 579-82.
Woltmann, E., Whitley, R., McHugo, G., Brunette, M., Torrey, W., Coots, L. & Drake, R. (2008) The role of team turnover in implementation of evidence-based practices in mental health. Psychiatric Services 59: 732-7.
Shiner, B., Whitley, R., Van Citters, A. & Bartels, S. (2008) Learning what matters for patients: Qualitative analysis of a health promotion program for those with serious mental illness. Health Promotion International 23: 275-82.
Marty, D., Rapp, C., McHugo, G. & Whitley, R. (2008) Factors Influencing Consumer Outcome Monitoring in Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices: Results from the National EBP Implementation Project. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 35: 204-211.
Bond, G.R., McHugo, G., Becker, D.R., Rapp, C.A. & Whitley, R. (2008) Fidelity of supported employment: lessons learned from the National Evidence-Based Practice Project. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal 31: 300-5.
Rapp, C.A., Etzel-Wise, D., Marty, D., Coffman, M., Carlson, L., Asher, D., Callaghan, J. & Whitley, R. (2008) Evidence-Based Practice Implementation Strategies: Results of a Qualitative Study. Community Mental Health Journal 44: 213-24.
Brunette, M.F., Asher, D., Whitley, R., Lutz, W.J., Wieder, B.L., Jones, A.M. & McHugo, G.J. (2008) Implementation of integrated dual disorder treatment. A qualitative analysis of facilitators and barriers. Psychiatric Services 59: 989-95.
Whitley, R. (2007) Cultural competence, evidence-based medicine and evidence-based practices. Psychiatric Services 58: 1588-90.
Whitley, R. & Hickling F (2007) Open papers, Open Minds? Media representations of psychiatric deinstitutionalization in Jamaica. Transcultural Psychiatry 44: 659-71.
Whitley, R. (2007) Mixed-methods studies. Journal of Mental Health 16: 697-701.
Woltmann, E. & Whitley, R. (2007) The Role of Staffing Stability in the Implementation of Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Mental Health 16: 697-701.
McHugo, G.J., Drake, R.E., Whitley, R., Bond, G.R., Campbell, K., Rapp, C.A., Goldman, H.H., Lutz W.J., & Finnerty, M.T. (2007) Fidelity outcomes in the national implementing evidence-based practices project. Psychiatric Services 58: 1279-84.
Becker, D., Whitley, R., Drake, R. & Bailey, E. (2007) Long-term employment trajectories among supported employment participants with severe mental illness. Psychiatric Services 58: 922-8.
Whitley, R., Kirmayer, L.J. & Groleau, D. (2006) Public pressure, private protest: Illness narratives of West Indian immigrants in Montreal with medically unexplained symptoms. Anthropology & Medicine, 13, 193-205.
Whitley, R., Kirmayer, L.J. & Groleau, D. (2006) Understanding immigrants' reluctance to use mental health services: A qualitative study from Montreal. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 51: 205-209, 2006.
Whitley, R. & Prince, M. (2006) Can urban regeneration programmes assist coping and recovery for people with mental illness? Suggestions from a qualitative case study. Health Promotion International, 21: 19-26.
Whitley, R., Prince, M., McKenzie, K. & Stewart, R. (2006) Exploring the ethnic density effect: A qualitative study of a London electoral ward. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 52, 376-391.
Parissis, M., Whitley, R. & Ward, A. (2006) Predictors of engagement in psychodynamic psychotherapy deriving from pre-assessment questionnaires. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 20, 281-296.
Whitley, R. & Prince M (2005) Fear of crime, mobility and mental health in inner-city London, UK. Social Science and Medicine 61: 1678-1688.
Whitley, R. & Prince M (2005) Is there a link between rates of common mental disorder and deficits in social capital in Gospel Oak, London? Results from a qualitative study. Health and Place 11: 237-248.
Whitley, R., Prince, M. & Cargo, M. (2005) Thinking Inside the Bubble: Evidence for a New Contextual Unit in Urban Mental Health. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 59: 893-897.
Whitley, R. & Crawford, M. (2005) Qualitative Research in Psychiatry. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 50: 108-114.
Whitley, R. & McKenzie, K. (2005) Social Capital and Psychiatry-Review of the Literature. Harvard Review of Psychiatry 13: 71-84.
Whitley, R. & Prince, M. (2005) Are inner-cities bad for your health? Comparisons of residents’ and third-parties’ perceptions of the urban neighbourhood of Gospel Oak, London. Sociology of Health and Illness 27: 44-67.
Jarvis, G.E., Kirmayer, L.J., Jarvis, G.K. & Whitley, R. (2005) The role of Afro-Canadian status in police or ambulance referral to emergency psychiatric services. Psychiatric Services 56: 705-10.
Selected Book Chapters
Whitley, R. (in press) Qualitative Research in Mental Health. Book Chapter in Oxford Textbook of Community Psychiatry. Oxford University Press. Editors- Thornicroft G, Mueser K and Drake R E.
Whitley, R. (in press) The Mental Health of Immigrants. Book Chapter in Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health. Springer. Editors Sajatovic M & Loue S.
Whitley, R. (2007) Social capital and public health- qualitative and ethnographic approaches (Chapter 6, pp95-115) In Kawachi I Subramanian S V & Kim, D (Eds.) Social Capital and Health. Springer. New York.
Whitley, R. (2006) An ethnographic study of social capital and mental health in Gospel Oak, London, UK. In McKenzie K and Harpham T (eds.) Social Capital and Mental Health (pp71-85). Jessica Kingsley, London.