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Laurence J. Kirmayer

Laurence J. Kirmayer, MD, FRCPC, FCAHS, FRSC

Psychosocial aspects of disease

Cultural psychiatry, Immigrants and refugees, Indigenous mental health, Medical and psychological anthropology, Person-centred care, Philosophy of psychiatry
  • Senior Investigator, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research
  • Director, Culture and Mental Health Research Unit, Jewish General Hospital
  • James McGill Professor and Director, Division of Social & Transcultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University

Contact details

(514) 340-7549

Assistant contact details

  • Antonella Clerici,
    Culture and Mental Health Research Unit
    (514) 340-7549
  • Paola Urbieta,
    Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry
    (514) 398-7302


Dr. Laurence J. Kirmayer’s research focuses on the integration of culture in psychiatric theory, services and practice. In this context ‘culture’ refers not simply to ethnicity but to all of the socially constructed or shared aspects of human identity and experience and so is a crucial dimension of every individual and community. Dr. Kirmayer works with Indigenous communities in Canada, immigrants and refugees, and in global mental health.

Our studies use frameworks and methods from medical and psychological anthropology, cognitive science, and the philosophy of psychiatry. I co-direct the McGill Culture, Mind and Brain program where we aim to develop ways to bridge neuroscience and social science to better understand health and illness in real-world contexts. I founded the annual McGill Summer Program in Social and Cultural Psychiatry, the JGH Cultural Consultation Service and the online Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre.

Major Research Activities

Dr. Laurence J. Kirmayer research focuses on cultural responsiveness in mental health services.


His specific areas of research include:

  • Ecosocial systems approach to integrating culture and neuroscience
  • Person-centred psychiatry
  • Migrant mental health
  • Indigenous mental health

Recent Publications and References