My books and articles bring together more than a decade of research and writing at the intersection of anthropology, medicine, and public health. this work has focused on how social and health conditions travel together in cities, From Chicago to Delhi to Lusaka, Johannesburg, and Nairobi.
In a major contribution to the study of diabetes, this book is the first to analyze the disease through a syndemic framework. An innovative, mixed-methods study, Emily Mendenhall shows how adverse social conditions, such as poverty and oppressive relationships, disproportionately stress certain populations and expose them to disease clusters. She goes beyond epidemiological research that has linked diabetes and depression, revealing how broad structural inequalities play out in the life histories of individuals, families, and communities, and lead to higher rates of mortality and morbidity. This intimate portrait of syndemic suffering is a model study of chronic disease disparity among the poor in high income countries and will be widely read in public health, medical anthropology, and related fields.
New book coming soon.
While there is increasing political interest in research and policy-making for global mental health, there remain major gaps in the education of students in health fields for understanding the complexities of diverse mental health conditions. Drawing on the experience of many well-known experts in this area, this book uses engaging narratives to illustrate that mental illnesses are not only problems experienced by individuals but must also be understood and treated at the social and cultural levels. The book -includes discussion of traditional versus biomedical beliefs about mental illness, the role of culture in mental illness, intersections between religion and mental health, intersections of mind and body, and access to health care; -is ideal for courses on global mental health in psychology, public health, and anthropology departments and other health-related programs.