Remembering Duncan Pedersen

The global health research community lost a dear friend and colleague with the recent and sudden passing of Duncan Pedersen.

Duncan was a world-renowned researcher and tireless advocate for global mental health. As a researcher and physician trained in public health, epidemiology, and medical anthropology, Duncan was committed to reducing the mental health burden of civilians exposed to political violence and natural disasters. He had extensive experience working with indigenous peoples and the urban poor in Latin American countries.

Through his research, Duncan sought to broaden the approach to mental health promotion by moving from a narrow psychological focus to a wider perspective that included the social and cultural context in which people recover from traumatic experience. Duncan applied this approach as the leader of a large international team focused on improving mental health policies and services for people recovering from violence or trauma in Guatemala, Indonesia, Nepal, Gaza, Peru, Sri Lanka. The team was funded under the Teasdale-Corti Team Grant Program, a part of the former Global Health Research Initiative (a partnership between CIHR, the International Development Research Development, and the Canadian International Development Agency, now part of Global Affairs Canada).

Duncan was associate scientific director of the research institute of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and an associate professor of psychiatry at McGill University. He was an active, well-respected and much admired member of the global health research community. He will be missed greatly.

On behalf of my Institute, I extend our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

Dr. Nancy Edwards
Scientific Director
CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health

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