Prior to joining Anthrologica, Theresa was a mental health specialist and psychosocial lead for the International Rescue Committee and Médecins Sans Frontières working in Palestine, Kenya, Uganda, Liberia and, most recently, Afghanistan. Realising that mental health and psychosocial wellbeing must be understood within broader cultural, social and political contexts, and that stress and suffering are understood and expressed through different cultural and contextual frameworks, Theresa’s research interests lie in gaining a more nuanced understanding of mental health using applied anthropological and participatory action approaches. She now leads Anthrologica’s mental health and psychosocial support unit, which is undertaking a number of research initiatives in the field of mental health and psychosocial support. Theresa works to apply a psycho-social lens across Anthrologica’s whole portfolio, including emergency response and preparedness work, to help ensure programming that is humanised and ethical, and respects the principles of ‘Do No Harm’.
Theresa represents Anthrologica on the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform (SSHAP), providing social science expertise and other technical support to better integrate social science research and evidence into humanitarian emergencies in a way that is meaningful and operational. Most recently she has provided direct support to the Ebola response in Liberia and the DRC, and currently she is supporting a number of global Covid-19 initiatives. As part of the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform, Theresa has also developed a series of training curricula for social scientists who are deployed to support Community Engagement efforts in emergencies.
She has authored journal articles, book chapters and technical programmatic manuals and frequently speaks at international conferences.