Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Ruth Wells is a Senior Research Fellow in the Trauma and Mental Health Unit, School of Psychiatry, UNSW, and a registered psychologist. Their research focuses on understanding the social and cultural processes that shape individual and community responses to conflict and displacement. She has worked extensively with psychosocial professionals in the Syrian refugee communities in Jordan, Turkey and Iraq to culturally adapt clinical treatments and co-design research programs.
Ruth currently leads a quasi-experimental study across Turkiye, Syria and Bangladesh to investigate the impact of a clinical supervision intervention on the wellbeing of mental health practitioners working with refugee communities in these areas. The project also examines the impact of supervision on the quality of services provided from the perspective of service users in these refugee communities.
Ruth's has conducted in-depth qualitative and participatory research together with members of the Syrian refugee communities in Jordan, Turkiye, Lebanon and Iraq. This has included assessing community readiness to address the psychosocial consequences of war and displacement, with follow up training and supervision to share skills with Syrian professionals. A strengths-based framework has guided their qualitative work in these Syrian communities towards developing an ecological model for intervention that can build on community resources.
Ruth is currently working on the Reassure study, a 2.5 year longitudinal study to examine the impact of Australia's harsh immigration policies on Farsi and Dari speaking refugees and asylum seekers living in Sydney. They bring a critical lens to the design of quantitative research in culturally and linguistically diverse communities which includes collaborating with bi-cultural workers to inform statistical modelling of the consequences of social policy on well-being.
Ruth is engaged in service quality improvement research with St John of God hospital at Richmond to improve the care experiences of people seeking treatment for PTSD following occupational trauma.