School of Social and Political Science

Robyn Thomas

Job Title

PhD Student

Research interests

Research interests

Medical Anthropology, Ethnographic Film, Mad Studies, Psychosis, Critical Mental Health, Therapeutic Communities, Global Mental Health, Psychological Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Public Anthropology.

Background

I'm a PhD student in social anthropology exploring meaning-making in psychosis, alternatives to forced psychiatric treatment, social determinants of distress, and therapeutic communities. I received my MSc in Global Mental Health in 2020 at the University of Edinburgh (with distinction). My background is in documentary filmmaking and I have collaborated on and directed award-winning films.  

Peer reviewed publications

Jordan, G., Ng, F., & Thomas, R. (2023). How clinicians can support posttraumatic growth following psychosis: A perspective pieceIrish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 1-6. doi:10.1017/ipm.2023.7

Magazine publications 

Thomas, R. (2022) 'The Transformative Potential of Psychosis', Mad in America, 21 July.

Gupta, V., Jordan, G., Thomas, R. (2022) 'Psychosis can be a personal hell. It can also inspire growth', Psyche Magazine, 26 September. 

Selected Guest lectures 

November 2023 - 'Understanding Psychosis, Voice-Hearing and Unshared Realities', for the postgraduate course 'Critical Approaches to Global Mental Health and Social Change' in Global Mental Health, University of Edinburgh. 

November 2023 'Working with voice-hearing and altered states', for the course 'Mental Health Officer Award' in Advanced Social Work Studies, University of Edinburgh.

November 2022- 'Reconceptualising Crisis and Response to Crisis', for the course 'Mental Health Officer Award' in Advanced Social Work Studies, University of Edinburgh.

November 2021 - 'The Transformative Potential of Psychosis,' for the course 'Mental Health Officer Award' in Advanced Social Work Studies, University of Edinburgh.

Selected conference and webinar presentations 

'Lived Experience in Global Mental Health' Global Mental Health Day. Edinburgh, UK, September, 2023, University of Edinburgh. 

'Bridging Divergent Realities Through Film and Photography: Valuing "Living" Experience Through Visual Methods', Too Mad To Be True Philosophy and Psychiatry Conference. Gent, Belgium, May 2023, Museum Dr. Guislain. 

'Unsettling Serious Mental Illness: Polyphonous Understandings of Intense Mental States' Panel Presentation', American Anthropological Association. Seattle, USA, November 2022, Seattle Convention Centre. 

‘How Clinicians can Facilitate Positive Change and Post-traumatic Growth Following an Episode of Psychosis’ (webinar with Dr. Gerald Jordan and Dr. Fiona Ng) [online] New England, USA, November 2021, Mental Health Technology Transfer Centre Network.

‘An Overview of Positive Change and Post-traumatic Growth Following an Episode of Psychosis’ (webinar with Dr. Gerald Jordan and Dr. Fiona Ng) [online] New England, USA, November 2021, Mental Health Technology Transfer Centre Network.

‘The Transformative Potential of Psychosis’ [online] Cork, Ireland, September 2021, International Hearing Voices Congress. 

Awards

2022-2026 School of Social and Political Science Scholarship, University of Edinburgh 

2021 Award for Best Overall Performance (MSc in Global Mental Health programme, University of Edinburgh)

Works within