Leah James

Doctoral student, social work and psychology, University of Michigan

Leah James is a doctoral candidate in psychology and social work at the University of Michigan, where she researches the effects of cultural belief systems on coping and resiliency to trauma. Leah is also a clinical psychiatric social worker at the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Clinic at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Ann Arbor, MI.

She is currently working with a University of Michigan research team on a post-disaster assessment in Haiti and is providing mental health services to residents of camps for internally displaced peoples (IDP) and to teachers through the Aristide Foundation for Democracy in Port-au-Prince. With the Aristide Foundation, she is working to create a sustainable system of training and service provision, in which Haitian teachers and mental health providers train unemployed Haitians to provide basic ongoing education and skills for coping with posttraumatic stress in IDP camps and throughout Port-au-Prince. For more info, visit our website at
Leah also researches mental health issues in South Africa and Ghana.