Neely Laurenzo Myers | Of Gods and Superheroes: Madness, Moral Agency, and Belonging for Youth

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Based on three years of ethnographic research with 48 diverse young adults and their families after the young person’s initial hospitalization for early psychosis, this talk explores three main points. First, it lays out why moral agency is important for mental health and how experiencing psychosis diminishes moral agency. Second, it explores the ways young persons in my study worked to restore their moral agency with culturally available mythos that unfortunately resulted instead in a further loss of moral agency. Finally, it asks how these findings can help us better support young persons experiencing psychosis.

About the Speaker

About the Speaker: Neely Laurenzo Myers, PhD, is an anthropologist specializing in the cross-cultural study of mental health and mental health services. She is currently an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UT-Southwestern. Dr. Myers is also the Editor-in-Chief of Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. Her second book, based on research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, Breaking Points: Youth in Crisis and Refusals of Mental Health Care, is forthcoming.

About the Series

Linda Randall Meier Research Workshop

Sponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center and made possible by support from Linda Randall Meier, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities



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