Posted: 25 February 2015
Florey Medical Research Foundation Mental Health Visiting Professorship from the University of Adelaide, Australia.
The prestigious University of Adelaide awarded Professor Essau to give her recognition as a distinguished researcher in the field of psychology. Professor Essau, in collaboration with Professor Anna Chur-Hansen at the Department of Psychology, will be continuing the exciting work of the late Professor Robert Barrett on the ethnopsychology, psychiatric and genetic research, among the Iban people in Sarawak, Malaysia. Prof Essau is the first Iban woman to have received a PhD, who was born and raised in Sarawak, Malaysia, so the project fits well with her wider interest into her own cultural background. The Ibans belong to one of Malaysia’s tribal groups who traditionally lived in the longhouse in the tropical jungle of Borneo Island.
Prof Essau said: “I feel very honoured to be awarded and to have this opportunity to analyse the most comprehensive data ever collected on mental health problems among the Ibans. The findings will make a significant contribution on the role of culture in psychiatric classification and treatment”.
Prof Essau’s research in the area of psychiatric classification has made significant contribution in the recent fifth revision of the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This research and her work on the treatment of mental health problems in young people was recognised as world-leading research*.
Distinguished Visiting Professor from De la Salle University, Philippines
At De la Salle University, Prof Essau collaborates with her colleagues (Dr Tarroja, Dr Mansukhani) in the Psychology Department on numerous youth mental health research. During her visit, she will be giving a series of public lectures and workshops on youth mental health.
Prof Essau said: “It is a great privilege for me to be able to share some of my research findings and skills with my colleagues in the Philippines. Also, I look forward to doing applied research with my colleagues at De la Salle that could make a significant impact on the lives of many Filipino youth”.
*Research Excellence Framework 2014
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