Source: Lady Davis Institute

Dr. Laurence Kirmayer, Director of the Culture & Mental Health Research Unit at the Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry, has been awarded the 2020 Award  for Distinguished Contributions to Family Systems Research from the American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA) and the 2021 Judd Marmor Award for advancing the biopsychosocial model by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

Dr. Kirmayer conducts research on culturally responsive mental health services, the mental health of Indigenous peoples, the integration of culture in global mental health, and the anthropology and philosophy of psychiatry. He founded and directs the annual McGill Summer Program in Social and Cultural Psychiatry, the National Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research, the Cultural Consultation Service, and the Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre. His publications include over 300 articles and book chapters as well as multiple co-edited volumes. He is a James McGill Professor of Psychiatry at McGill University and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada (Academy of Social Sciences).

“I am deeply honored to receive the 2020 AFTA Distinguished Contribution to Family Systems Research Award. This recognition from AFTA is especially meaningful to me because family theory and therapy have been central to my thinking over the whole span of my career,” said Dr. Kirmayer. “I have always held that family theory and therapy provide the most natural path to cultural psychiatry. The research my colleagues and I have done on cultural consultation often hinges on understanding family systems. My on-going work on mental health promotion for Indigenous youth brings family and cultural perspectives together to support communities in building local culturally adapted versions of a family-centered program. In short, this recognition from AFTA, an association dedicated to the advancement of family therapy, affirms a shared vision of a truly integrative, ecosocial approach to mental health that recognizes the ways we are constituted by family, culture, and community.”

The Judd Marmor Award was established to honor a distinguished member of the psychiatry field who has contributed to advancing the biopsychosocial model, which argues that biological, psychological, and social factors all play a critical role in the development and manifestation of disease. The APA’s Committee on Research Awards grants the award to individuals who have made significant contributions to understanding the multiple elements involved in mental health and illness. The Marmor Award includes an opportunity to give a lecture at the APA annual meeting, which Dr. Kirmayer will deliver next yea. Previous Marmor lecturers include the Nobel laureate Eric Kandel, M.D.



December 16 2020