MA IDS Thesis Projects


Mental Health and International Assistance: Exploring Shan Migrant’s Insecurities in Northern Thailand and Reviewing their Cultural/Spiritual Practices Used for Psychological Care

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences


International Development and Service

Degree Name

International Development and Service, MA

First Supervisor

Reed Mueller, Ph.D.


Throughout recent years many industrialized countries have presented mental health aid as an important aspect of primary health. Researchers and practitioners have recognized the diverse effects of untreated mental health and the environmental factors contributing to mental distress. There is limited research on the development of culturally sensitive intervention programs focusing on mental health and psychological healing. In this proposal I explore stressors and insecurities within the Shan migrant community in Northern Thailand, and review the role of cultural and traditional spiritual forms of psychological healing in a cross-cultural context. The literature review segment will introduce the concept of mental health in the field of international development, culture, and previously explored areas of intervention relating to cross-cultural and spiritual forms of healing. The purpose of this research is to explore the needs of migrant communities and to provide data on the importance of cross-cultural healing methods in modern day therapeutic interventions.

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