Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry
1033 Pine Avenue West
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1A1
Tel: (514) 398-7302
Fax: (514) 398-4370
Laurence.kirmayer [at] mcgill.ca (Email)
Areas of Expertise
Psychiatric practice in multicultural societies; aboriginal mental health; anthropology of mental illness and healing; mental health care for immigrants and refugees; cultural idioms of distress; somatization, dissociation and psychosis; trauma and resilience.
Laurence J. Kirmayer, MD, FRCPC, 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.
Dr Kirmayer founded and directs the annual Summer Program in Social and Cultural Psychiatry at McGill. He is also founder and Co-Director of the National Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. He co-edited the volumes, Current Concepts of Somatization (American Psychiatric Press, 1991), Understanding Trauma: Integrating Biological, Clinical and Cultural Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 2007), andHealing Traditions: The Mental Health of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada (University of British Columbia Press). For further information see the description of the Culture and Mental Health Research Unit of the Jewish General Hospital.