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Courtney Welton-Mitchell, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor

​​Courtney Welton-Mitchell is a social psychologist and mental health clinician. Her research experience includes mixed-method, quasi-experimental and RCT studies focused on the development and testing of health interventions for use in disaster and humanitarian settings. She focuses on integrating her work in disaster psychology, gender-based violence, food security, and forced migration/refugees, in settings involving natural hazards and civil conflict such as Nepal, Haiti, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia, Lebanon, Egypt and elsewhere. She is co-founder and former director of the Humanitarian Assistance Applied Research Group, Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. She has worked with numerous United Nations and other humanitarian organizations, as a practitioner, trainer, and researcher. Her graduate-level teaching experience includes courses at the American University in Cairo, University of Denver, and ColoradoSPH focused on international disasters, humanitarian aid, refugee studies, gender-based violence, disaster mental health, and research methods. In addition to her current work as a Clinical Assistant Professor, supporting the Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response curriculum at ColoradoSPH, she is engaged in grant-funded research and related initiatives through the Natural Hazards Center, CU Boulder.

Research Interests
  • Community-based mental health interventions in international settings involving natural hazards and civil conflict
  • Mental health of national and international humanitarian aid workers
  • Social norms, mental health, and human rights approaches to address gender-based violence among displaced populations
  • Understanding relationships between climate change, food security, and mental health

Key Publications

  • Welton-Mitchell, C., Bujang, N.H., binti Hussin, H., binti Husein, S., Santoadi, F., James, L. (2019). Intimate partner abuse among Rohingya in Malaysia: Assessing stressors, social norms and help-seeking to inform mental health integrated intervention. Intervention: Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas - Special Issue: Rohingya Crisis (in press).
  • James, L., Welton-Mitchell, C., Noel, J.R., & James, A. (2019). Integrating mental health and disaster preparedness in intervention: A randomized controlled trial with earthquake and flood-affected communities in Haiti. Psychological Medicine, 1–11.
  • Tay, A.K., Riley, A., Islam, R., Welton-Mitchell, C., Duchesne, B., Waters V., Varner, A., Moussa, B., Mahmudul Alam, A.N.M., Elshazly, M.A., Silove, D., Ventevogel, P. (2019). The culture, mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Rohingya refugees: a systematic review. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, Vol 28(5), 489-494.
  • Welton-Mitchell, C., James, L., Khanal, S.N., James, A. (2018). An integrated approach to mental health and disaster preparedness: A cluster comparison with earthquake affected communities in Nepal. BMC Psychiatry,18(1): 296. doi: 10.1186/s12888-018-1863-z.
  • Varner, A. Riley, A., Ventevogel, P. & Hasan, T., Welton-Mitchell, C. (2017). Trauma exposure, daily stressors and mental health among stateless Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. J Transcultural Psychiatry, 54(3), 304-331. doi: 10.1177/1363461517705571

Courses Taught
  • International Disasters and Global Humanitarianism
  • Disaster Mental Health: International and Domestic Perspectives
  • Climate, Disaster and Humanitarian Research Methods

  • PhD Social Psychology — Tool: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (2012)
    Psychology Department, University of Denver
  • MA Affect/Social Psychology (2009)
    Psychology Department, University of Denver
  • MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling (1997)
    College of Education, University of New Mexico

Honors and Awards
  • U.S. Fulbright Research Scholar — Malaysian-American Commission on Education Exchange (2017–2018)
  • Research Grant: U.S. State Department, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (2016–2018)
  • Research Grant(s): ELRHA Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) (2014–2016)
  • Research Grant(s): Office of Internationalization, University of Denver (2012–2014)
  • Research Grant: Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado, Boulder (2013)
  • Outstanding Dissertation in Psychology — American Psychological Association — Div. 56 Trauma Psychology (2013)

Colorado School of Public Health

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