Erminia Colucci is a Professor of Visual Psychology and Cultural & Global Mental Health in the Department of Psychology at Middlesex University London (UK) and Visiting Professor at Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia). Prior to this she was a lecturer and academic lead at the Centre for Psychiatry at Queen Mary University of London (UK), where she co-developed and coordinated the MSc in Creative Arts and Mental Health and lead the MSc in Transcultural Mental Healthcare and the Research Methods in Mental Health module. From 2007 till 2015, she was a Research fellow and Lecturer at the Cultural and Global Mental Health Unit, University of Melbourne where she is currently Honorary Senior Research Fellow. Her main area of research and training is in Cultural and Global Mental Health and Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology with a focus on low-middle income countries and immigrant and refugee populations. Her key interests are human rights and mental health, suicide and suicide prevention, domestic violence against women and children, child neglect/exploitation, spirituality and faith-based and spiritual/traditional healing, and first-hand stories of people with lived-experience of ‘mental illness’ and suicidal behaviour. Erminia is passionate about using arts-based and visual methods, particularly photography and ethnographic film-documentary, in her research, teaching and advocacy activities. She is currently Co-Investigator in several competitive grants for research in Low and Middle Income Countries and is the Principal Investigator on the ESRC GCRF funded project "Together for Mental Health: Using collaborative visual research methods to understand experiences of mental illness, coercion and restraint in Ghana and Indonesia” (see https://movie-ment.org/together4mentalhealth/
In 2015, she was awarded the International Association for Suicide Prevention Andrej Marusic Award which is dedicated to innovative research among young researchers. She was also awarded a Rotary International prize for her ethnographic documentary about human rights and mental health 'Breaking the chains' (https://movie-ment.org/breakingthechains) and her latest ethnographic/research-documentaries from the Together for Mental Health project have received several awards.
In 2008 she completed a PhD in Cultural Psychiatry with a dissertation on ‘The cultural meanings of suicide: A comparison between Australian, Indian and Italian students’, at the University of Queensland (Australia), for which she was awarded the Suicide Prevention Australia Emerging Researcher LIFE Award, the Dr Helen Row–Zonta Memorial Prize and The University of Queensland Travel Award. Prior to this, she worked in Italy as a clinical psychologist, after completing studies in Clinical and Community Psychology at the University of Padua (Italy). Erminia also completed a MPhil in Ethnographic Documentary (Visual Anthropology) at the University of Manchester.
Erminia has presented at various national/international conferences, seminars and workshops (including as keynote and invited speaker), and published in several academic journals and books. In addition to being the main investigator in interdisciplinary research projects in countries across the Asia-Pacific and in Europe, she has held lecturing and training positions in Japan, Indonesia, Canada, India, Italy and the Philippines. Erminia is also actively involved in public engagement and advocacy activities and volunteers at Maytree Suicide Respite Centre in London.
Erminia is the chair of the International Association for Suicide Prevention SIG in Culture and Suicidal Behaviour, Chair of the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry SIG on Arts, Media and Mental Health and founder of Movie-ment (https://movie-ment.org) and Aperture, the first Asia-Pacific ethnographic documentary festival.
Italian (mother-tongue), English (TOEFL), French (Intermediate certificate, University of Manchester), basic Spanish
Dr Colucci co-developed and co-leads the 3rd year modules:
PSY3058 Visual Psychology: Arts, film and photography in Psychology
PSY3056 Social, Cultural & Community Mental Health
& the MSc Module PSY4223 Trauma experience and interventions
She also teaches about Cultural and Global Mental Health and arts-based/visual methodologies in other courses and supervises under- and post-graduate students on these subjects.
Erminia's key interests are human rights and mental health, suicide and suicide prevention, domestic violence against women and children, child neglect/exploitation, spirituality and faith-based and spiritual/traditional healing, and first-hand stories of people with lived-experience of ‘mental illness’ and suicidal behaviour. Erminia is passionate about using arts-based and visual methods, particularly photography and ethnographic film-documentary, in her research, teaching and advocacy activities in Cultural and Global Mental Health. In addition to the publications listed in this page, her visual research outputs can be accessed in her website/blog Movie-ment.View more publications
Selected funded research and KE projects in the last 10 years:
2023-current: AHRC Research Networking “Developing a network for mutual learning on the potential of creative arts for mental health advocacy and activism in Ghana and Indonesia” (£97,036, Co-I)
2020-2023: Co-I MRC “A Youth Culturally adapted Manual Assisted Psychological therapy (Y-CMAP) for adolescent Pakistani patients with a recent history of self-harm (£1,005.739, Co-I)
2021-2022: AHRC “The impact of COVID-19 on people living with psychosocial disabilities in Ghana and Indonesia and priorities for inclusive recovery” (£ 99.000, Co-I)
2020-2022: GCRF Challenge Clusters “Mainstreaming Global Mental Health: A Praxis Nexus Approach (£149.996, Co-I)
2022: Erasmus+ staff mobility grant Denmark (University of Copenhagen)
a) ESRC/AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund a) Principal Investigator “Using collaborative visual research methods to understand experiences of mental illness, coercion and restraint in Ghana and Indonesia” (£234.612 Co-Is: KCL, University of Ghana and University of Gadjah Mada, Indonesia)
b) Co-I “Mental health literacy in urban and rural communities in Kerala India: An interdisciplinary approach using applied theatre methodology” (£679.448)
2017-2019: Co-I MRC HSRI grant “Exploring the potential of civic engagement to strengthen mental health systems in Indonesia” (£250.000)
2017-2020: MRC ‘A Culturally-adapted Manual Assisted Psychological therapy for adolescent Pakistani patients with a recent history of self-harm’ (£ 808.725, Co-I)
2018: Erasmus+ staff mobility grant in Programme Countries (L’Orientale, Naples, Italy)
Erasmus+ staff mobility grant in Partner Countries through ICM (University of Mauritius)
2015-2017: MRC/DfID/Wellcome Global Health Trials Out, Multicenter RCT to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a culturally adapted therapy (C-MAP) in patients with a history of self-harm (£716.932, Co-I)
2013-2015: Colucci, Early Career Research Award Domestic violence, mental illness and suicide in Philippines: An ethnographic documentary project (AU$39.000)
2014: Colucci and Jeffries, Visualizing Health: Sharing knowledge, promoting health & wellbeing, Gateway Project Knowledge Health Dean’s Office grant (AU$24,000); Colucci and McDonough, Digital stories on journeys of recovery from people with mentally illness from migrant and refugee background, Australian Commonwealth Department of Health ($AU 26,000).
2012: Colucci, Ethnographic Documentary on human rights violations against people with mental illness in Indonesia, One World Media Seed funding (£1000)
2011-2012: a) Colucci and Nadera, WHO and CBM funding for Community-based suicide prevention training in the Philippines (US$ 12,000); b) Cultural and Community Relations grant for community action project for the prevention of domestic violence against Indian women AU$5,000;
c) Helen MacPherson Smith Trust for community photo/film-exhibition about multiculturalism ‘Open for (more than) business’, (AU$23,000 + $6,000 and in-kind support by Immigration Museum Victoria)
2011-2014: Suicide prevention plan for the tender for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia national project, Commonwealth Department of Health (AU$ 900.000/year per 3 years)
2011: a) O’Connor & Colucci, Australia culture awareness training and research for International students. AU$20,000 (Victoria Multicultural Commission)
b) Colucci, Windows on the new world: Australia from the eyes of international students using Photovoice. AU $12,000 CCRAG (Cultural and Community Relations grant) plus sponsors
2010-2011: O’Connor, Field, Colucci, Reardon, Minas, Pryor (PI Colucci). Culturally determined barriers and nature of Domestic Violence within the Australian Indian Community”. AU$82,000 (Legal Service Board and Australia India Society of Victoria)
2009-2011: Colucci, Szwarc, Minas, Guerra, Paxton, Refugee youth and mental health services, William Buckland Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund, AU$78,200
Since 01/Mar 2002-current: Full member Italian Psychologists Register (Clinical and Community Psychologist) number 3849
Since 2008: Founder of MWA- Multicultual Women in Arts
Since 2011-current: Chair of IASP (International association for Suicide Prevention) SIG Culture & Suicidal Behaviour
Since 2012-current: Co-Chair of WACP (World Association of Cultural Psychiatry) SIG Arts, Mental Health & Human Rights (prior Arts, Media & Mental Health)
Since 2013: Founder of Movie-ment
Since 2017-current: Member of Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance
Since Aug 2017-Dec 2019: Fellow of The UK Higher Education Academy
Since Jan 2020 –current: Senior Fellow of The UK Higher Education Academy
Since April 2020: Suicide Prevention Specialist Consultant for Save the Children International