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Gargie joined KCL in 2018 as a PhD student investigating longstanding mental health inequalities for people from ethnic minority backgrounds, using mixed methods research. She is working with supervisors Dr Jayati Das-Munshi and Professor Stephani Hatch at King’s College London, and Sally McManus at NatCen Social Research.

Prior to her PhD, Gargie has worked in global health research and international development, with a focus on projects based in Bangladesh, and has volunteered with organisations supporting migrant rights in the UK. She began researching mental health inequalities during her MSc studies in Demography & Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, looking at how social support, participation, and adversity impact mental health outcomes for young people aged 14 in the Millennium Cohort Study. Gargie’s research brings together her interests in migration, culture, racialisation, inequality, and political economy, looking at how these factors can shape people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Gargie has a BA in Archaeology & Anthropology from the University of Oxford and has wider interests in bridging the gap between quantitative and qualitative approaches research methods, and how interdisciplinary research can be harnessed to reduce health and wider related social inequalities.

Research interests

This mixed methods PhD project brings together Gargie’s interests in quantitative and qualitative social research. The project uses both data analysis that captures national and regional level evidence, and social interviews that learn from people’s personal experiences and insights of mental health problems in contemporary multicultural Britain.

The quantitative phase looks at trends in prevalence and treatment access for common mental disorders in people from ethnic minority backgrounds in England between 1993-2014. This uses data from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Surveys, the longest running nationally representative household survey series for mental health and wellbeing in the UK.

The qualitative phase seeks to interview participants from ethnic minority backgrounds who have agreed to share their experiences and perceptions of mental health problems and care, to answer questions that cannot be analysed from existing data.

Gargie is also looking to learn from support and advocacy organisations working with people facing challenges with accessing mental health services, to understand factors driving the persisting inequalities faced by people from ethnic minority backgrounds. If you would like to learn more or are interested in participating, please find more information here.

This PhD project is a collaborative studentship, in partnership with NatCen, and supported by the Economic and Social Research Council through the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership.

Gargie’s general research interests include:

  • Race, ethnicity, culture, and mental health
  • Migration and refugee rights and welfare
  • Social and economic inequalities
  • Survey data and longitudinal cohort studies
  • Social and cultural anthropology
  • Interdisciplinary and mixed-methods research

Expertise and public engagement

Gargie is a steering member of the Maudsley Cultural Psychiatry Group, working to promote knowledge and awareness around race and racism in psychiatry and psychology through reflective, creative, and academic platforms.

Alongside social research, Gargie has an interest in journalism and is a volunteer community contributor for the Brixton Blog, a local online and print media platform, writing features on arts, music, culture, faith, and community events. You can read some of her online articles here.


Mental health:

Ahmad, G., McManus, S., Cooper, C., Hatch, S. & Das-Munshi, J. Prevalence of common mental disorders and treatment receipt for people from ethnic minority backgrounds in England: repeated cross-sectional surveys of the general population, 2007 and 2014. Accepted/in press 15 Nov 2021, in British Journal of Psychiatry.

Ahmad, G., McManus, S., Becares, L., Hatch, S. & Das-Munshi, J. Explaining ethnic variations in adolescent mental health: a secondary analysis of the Millennium Cohort Study, 2021, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

Gargie Ahmad and Jayati Das-Munshi. Ethnicity, sociodemographic factors, and mental health outcomes in young people from the Millennium Cohort Study. Abstract for oral presentation given at Society for Social Medicine and Population Health and International Epidemiological Association, September 2019.

Previous research:

Gargie Ahmad, as consultant for Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security. Zoonotic Disease Control Policy at the Human–Animal Interface. Policy paper and meeting summary, July 2018.

Tony Barnett, Erling Høg Mohamed Ahasanul Hoque, Gargie Ahmad, Rashed Mahmud Sizer, Dirk Pfeiffer, Guillaume Fournié. Avian influenza in Bangladesh: Ethnography, Behavioural Economics and Experimental Behavioural Epidemiology in One Health –a Proof of Concept. Conference paper, The International Society for Economics and Social Sciences of Animal Health (ISESSAH) 2018.