My research goals since beginning my academic career have been to not only contribute to but advance the knowledge base in the area of Black American mental health, illness, and wellness by investigating the social-cultural, -historical, and -political factors involved in the help-seeking behaviors and service use patterns of Black Americans experiencing mental health problems; thereby helping us better understand and better able to inform the creation of interventions aimed at improving their mental health and wellness. And I have done just that since beginning my career in academia, conducting research and producing scholarship with what some would term as a “hard to reach” population on a socially taboo topic. I am also very committed to the dissemination and transfer of knowledge through publications and presentations, the titles of a select few you will see below. For a complete list of my publications and presentations, contact me or view my LinkedIn page. You can also check out my profiles on Google Scholar and Research Gate to access my articles and book chapters.
African Americans still underutilize mental health services at lower rates than their white counterparts even though their problems and accompanying symptoms are more persist and severe. Another aim of my research is to explore innovative ways of addressing the mental health needs of Black Americans. I am currently working on projects that investigate how Black American churches can become involved in addressing the mental health needs of Black Americans. Historically, Black Americans have turned to the church in times of trouble because they are seen as trusted institutions, especially when they are shut out of formal care or encounter various structural, cultural/social, or financial barriers to that care. The goal of the research is to inform churches and faith leaders on mental health, illness, and wellness, and guide them on how to assist those who come to them for help. We want to replace myths with facts, explain differences in situational and clinical mental health problems, and offer clinically-, culturally-, and evidence-informed strategies for addressing mental health concerns.
I am dedicated to exploring the nuances of/in Black American experiences with depression, help-seeking and service use. My current work examines how gender impacts illness experiences as well as the intersectionality of racial/ethnic and illness identities. Again, the goal of this research is to recognize the diversity of experiences among Black Americans so that interventions can be designed to address various sub-groups within Black communities.
While the bulk of my research focus on Black/African Americans, I am dedicated to investigating mental health, illness, and wellness in multiple underserved groups and improving the mental health and wellbeing of all.
The underlying purpose of any research I am engaged in is to destigmatize mental illness. Whether stigma is the explicit focus of a manuscript or spoken of as a factor to consider when examining someone's help-seeking behaviors or service use patterns, I want others to better understand that how we view ourselves and others can impact mental health, help, and healing. Ultimately, my work seeks to help others truly understand people diagnosed with mental disorders and their illnesses. I want people to be more open to and inclusive of those with mental health problems, to know that we are people first and still successful contributors to our local and global communities.
Although I conduct mixed methods research, I am a qualitative researcher. I am particularly interested in prioritizing the voice of Black Americans by collecting and sharing their stories and illness narratives. I have written and presented on the utility of qualitative methods in health research, especially with Black Americans, and am affiliated with UGA's Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies.
My expertise in qualitative methods is in particular demand among doctoral candidates, serving as the "methods member" on comprehensive exam and dissertation committees in the SSW and other UGA departments. In the spring of 2019, I took over as the instructor for the doctoral level Qualitative Research Methods course in the School of Social Work. I have also guest lectured for several courses, at UGA and beyond, on the use of qualitative methods in research.
I am currently crafting research projects that pay particular attention to the role that race, class, and gender play into how patients/clients are seen, heard, and treated in clinical settings. These projects will focus specifically on how racism, sexism, and classism impact those crucial doctor-patient interactions and subsequent medical treatment. Moving beyond simply noting that disparities exist based on a person’s identity, this work will look closely at how power, privilege, and discrimination turn an identity marker into a marginalized status that leave certain patients/clients underserved and particular health service providers underrepresented in their fields.
I am currently working with a church to explore its current and potential role in addressing mental health needs and promoting mental health wellness in its church and surrounding community. The first phase of the research study, involving interviews with church staff and community partners, is complete and data is being analyzed. Phase II will begin in the fall with a survey going out to church members about their current and past mental health as well as their thoughts about their church's potential role in addressing mental health needs and supporting mental health and wellness.
Data is currently being analyzed for a project I designed to respond to many of the unknowns of and reactions to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Data was collected via an online survey to capture the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of Americans living in the United States. I believe that this research can be very useful in identifying and better understanding that impact, thereby allowing us to design mental and/or behavioral health interventions to address those issues. It can also help us to think preventatively, enabling us to be more prepared in our responses to future events like this one.
I like using my skills and training to assist others. I have collaborated with community leaders as they explore ways to improve the health and wellbeing of those they serve. If you are interested in me using my research, assessment, and evaluation skills to assist your church, organization, or community, reach out.
Copyright © 2023 Rosalyn Denise Campbell, PhD, LMSW - All Rights Reserved.
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