Mental health, migration and the megacity

Des Fitzgerald*, Nick Manning, Nikolas Rose, Hua Fu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This International Health supplement reports results and perspectives from an in-progress international and interdisciplinary collaboration investigating the mental health of ruralurban migrant communities in contemporary megacities. The majority of the authors are collaborators on one project, shared between a set of institutions and funders in the UK and China, that uses evidence and approaches from epidemiology, the psychological and psychiatric sciences, the qualitative social sciences, as well as novel digital tools, to produce an individually textured yet clinically relevant picture of mental illness among migrant communities in Shanghai. That endeavour, which is still under way, is now extending into new collaborations with researchers in comparator migrant megacitiesin particular, São Paulo, Brazil and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In this introduction to the supplement, we will set out the background for this research programme in terms of contemporary patterns of urbanization and their relationship to mental health; we will then situate these issues in relation to migration, and especially to Shanghai as a new kind of migrant city. But we will also, in necessarily abbreviated form, make the case for a wider argument that underpins this ongoing endeavour. Our argument is that making sense of what it is like to develop, experience, live with and ameliorate a mental health problem, as a migrant, in a city like Shanghai or São Paulo or Toronto, requires perspectives and methods from a set of disciplines that do not make obvious bedfellowsit requires new forms of collaboration, and indeed new forms of thought, across the social sciences, epidemiological sciences and psychological sciences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S1-S6
JournalInternational Health
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


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