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Social Work: People


Sumeet Jain

Sumeet Jain
Dr Sumeet Jain
Senior Lecturer in Social Work, School of Social and Political Science
2.29 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44(0)131 651 1463
Research Interests
Community mental health, culture and health, ethnography, well being, South Asia, 'global mental health'


By prior appointment.


My research contributes to improvement of mental health outcomes by drawing on inter-disciplinary knowledge and mixed methods. My work unpacks the notion of a 'global' mental health and attempts to inform development of services that account for local experiences and understandings of psychological distress.

I studied International Development at the University of Toronto and Social Work at McGill University, Montreal. My doctoral research at University College London (2010) deployed ethnographic methods to examine how individuals, communities, mental health professionals, and policy makers conceptualize and deliver community mental health services in an identified rural north Indian site.


1.Community mental health in low-income countries specifically community engagement, the development of locally relevant psycho-social interventions and the relationship between poverty, marginality and mental health.

 2.Unpacking of psychiatric and local categories of distress to contribute to the development of culturally appropriate mental health services.

 3.The nature of training & professional development of Social Workers and their role in mental health service delivery in non-western settings.

 4.Application of qualitative and ethnographic methodologies to evaluation of health and psycho-social programmes.

 I have most recently been involved in the following research projects:

·  The dynamics of a recovery oriented mental health approach in northern India (PI: Dr S Jain, Funded by ESRC-Impact Accellerator Award). 

·  Alternatives in community mental health: defining the contours of non-formal care in western India (PI: Dr S. Jain, Funded by Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland)  

· Research collaborator on a mixed-methods study investigating caste identity and psychological distress in western India funded by the British Academy (PI: Dr. S. Jadhav, UCL; co-PI: Dr. B. Davar, Bapu Trust, Pune, India). 

 ·  Co-Principal Investigator on a qualitative evaluation of Alcohol Referral Team (ART) and Drug Referral Team (DRT) Services for the City of Edinburgh. (PI: Prof. Viv Cree, University of Edinburgh)

 ·  Researcher on a Wellcome Trust funded mixed methods evaluation of a public health initiative addressing health inequalities in London. (co-PIs: Dr. A. Draper & Prof. A. Clow, Westminster University)

·  Research consultant on a mixed methods study, funded by DFID and World Bank, examining the relationship between poverty, stigma and serious mental illness in two field sites in India. (PI: Dr. J.F. Trani, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, St. Louis)


 Journal Publications 

Bayetti, C., Jadhav, S. and Jain, S. (2016). The Re-covering Self: A Critique of the Recovery based Approach in India's Mental Health Care. Disability and the Global South. 3(1). Available at:

Jadhav, S., Jain, S., Kannuri, N., Bayetti, C., Barua, M. (2015). Ecologies of Suffering: Mental Health in India (commentary). Economic and Political Weekly. Vol - L No. 20, May 16, 2015. 

Orr, D., & Jain, S. (2015). Making Space for Embedded Knowledge in Global Mental Health: A role for social work?. European Journal of Social Work, 18(4), 569-582. 10.1080/13691457.2014.948810
White, R., Jain, S., & Giurgi-Oncu, C. (2014). Counterflows for mental well-being: What high-income countries can learn from Low and middle-income countries.International Review of Psychiatry26(5), 602-6. 10.3109/09540261.2014.939578
Hillen, P., Cree, V. E., & Jain, S. (2014). Facilitating Recovery from Drug and Alcohol Problems: Reflections on Interviews with Service Users in Scotland. Practice,26(5), 281-297. 10.1080/09503153.2014.958453
Derges, J., Clow, A., Lynch, R., Jain, S., Phillips, G., Petticrew, M., Renton, A. & Draper, A. (2014). 'Well London' and the benefits of participation: results of a qualitative study nested in a cluster randomised trial. BMJ Open4(4). 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003596

Derges, J., Jain, S., Littlewood, R., Gopikumar, V., Dijkxhoorn, M., Jadhav, S. (2013), Challenges of Teaching Clinically Applied Anthropology and Cultural Psychiatry in India: An Evolving Partnership between a UK University and an Indian NGO. Teaching Anthropology 2. Available at:

Jain S., Jadhav S. (2009). Pills that Swallow Policy: Clinical Ethnography of a Community Mental Health Program in Northern India. Transcultural Psychiatry; 46(1):60-85.

Chatterjee S., Pillai A., Jain S., Cohen A., Patel V. (2009). Outcomes of people with psychotic disorders in a community-based rehabilitation programme in rural India. Br J Psychiatry; 195(5):433-439. 

Jain S., Jadhav S. (2008). A cultural critique of community psychiatry in India. International Journal of Health Services; 38(3):561-584.

Jadhav S., Littlewood R., Ryder A.G., Chakraborty A., Jain S., Barua M. (2007). Stigmatization of severe mental illness in India: Against the simple industrialization hypothesis. Indian J Psychiatry;49:189-94. Available from:

Books and Special Issues

White, R., Jain, S., Orr, D. Read, U. (Editors). The Palgrave Handbook of Global Mental Health: Socio-cultural Perspectives. Palgrave-Macmillan (Under Contract, Expected publication, 2016). 

Jain, S., Orr, D. (Editors). Special Issue: Ethnographic Perspectives on Global Mental Health. Transcultural Psychiatry. Expected December 2016. 

Book Chapters

Jadhav, S & Jain, S (2012). Clinical appeal of Cultural Formulations in Community Rural Mental Health, Chapter in ˜Comprehensive Textbook on Community Psychiatry in India', (Ed.) Chavan, BS; Gupta, N; Arun, P; Sidana, AK; & Jadhav, S. (in press), Jaypee Brothers.

Chatterjee, S., Chatterjee, A. and Jain, S. (2003). Developing Community-Based Services for Serious Mental Illness: A Rural Setting. In: "Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Developing Countries: NGO Innovations in India", eds V. Patel & R. Thara, Sage (India): New Delhi.

Conference Panels

Co-organizer (with S. Bindi, Université Paris Descartes). Constructing diagnosis in 'mental health': the negotiation of categories, the encounter of subjectivities in South Asia. 23rd European Conference on South Asian Studies, (July 2014), Zurich.

Co-organizer (with S. Ecks & H. Mantila, University of Edinburgh). Economic wealth and mental health: questioning the paradoxes. Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth Decennial Conference (June 2014), Edinburgh.

Co-organizer (with D.Orr, University of Sussex). Ethnographic perspectives on 'global mental health'. 17th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (August 2013), Manchester, UK.

Co-organizer (with S. Varma, Cornell University). Tracing ˜the community" in community mental health care. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting (Nov 2011), Montreal, Canada.

Recent Conference Papers

Jain, S. Poverty and mental health: contextualizing 'access' and 'care' in northern India. PanelEconomic wealth and mental health: questioning the paradoxes. Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth Decennial Conference (June 2014), Edinburgh.

Orr, D. & Jain, SMaking Space for Embedded Knowledge in Global Mental Health: A role for social work? Social Work without borders: building an international community of practice, University of Lincoln (January 2014).

Jain, S. A tangled web: the intersection of psychiatric diagnostic systems and local illness categories in rural India. Panel: Ethnographic perspectives on 'global mental health'. 17th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (August 2013), Manchester, UK.

Cree, V., Jain, S., Hillen, P. Measuring the effectiveness of case management in social work: a case-study of an evaluation of a drug and alcohol service in Scotland. UK Joint Social Work Research and Education Conference (July 2013), Royal Holloway Unviersity, London.


I have specific teaching interests in the areas of culture and mental health, mental health in low-income contexts, and mental health and well-being.

I am course organizer for a post-graduate course titled: Critical Perspectives on mental health in the 'global south'

This will be offered in the 2nd semester, 2015/16. See this link for details:

I contribute to teaching mental health content across the undergraduate (BSc) and post-graduate (MSW) Social Work programmes.

I undertake dissertation supervision for the following post-graduate programmes:  Master of Social Work, MSc International Development, and Master of Public Policy.

I have been involved in conceptualizing and delivering  a six-year short-course  teaching collaboration  between University College London and The Banyan, Chennai, India. See:​


Programme Director (from August 2012 - July 2015), Post Graduate Certificate in Advanced Professional Studies (Mental Health Officer Award).

This is a postgraduate qualification for qualified social workers wishing to practise as mental health officers (MHOs). It been designed and is delivered in partnership with 12 local authorities in the East of Scotland.

If you are interested in being supervised by Sumeet Jain, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Social Work; PhD in South Asian Studies