Author Archives: Dr Jessie Li

M3 Brocher Foundation Workshop

M3 meeting at the Brocher Foundation, Hermance, Switzerland, January 24/25, 2018

This workshop springs from a three year ESRC/Newton/FAPESP funded project on Mental Health, Migration and the Mega-City (M3), shared between Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London, Cambridge University, Cardiff University, Fudan University School of Public Health, Shanghai, and Sao Paulo University Medical School. The workshop focus will be on new data, ideas and discussions arising from the project’s work in Shanghai and Sao Paulo, and elsewhere, on what specific aspects of migrant life in contemporary mega-cities are either producing or exacerbating the production of urban mental illness what insights might be gained from sociology, urban studies, epidemiology, psychiatry and neurobiology, to understand how ordinary lives on migrant streets can sometimes generate the forms of distress that we recognise as mental disorder what policy developments must be prioritised to secure and improve mental health of migrants in contemporary megacities.

The program can be downloaded here.

Planned future meetings, conferences/workshops

We have planned a series of meetings, conferences/workshops to discuss work plans, disseminate research findings and explore future collaborative research opportunities:

1. Research team meeting, September 1, 2017, London, UK

2.São Paulo visit (Prof Nik Rose and Prof Nick Manning), November 2017,São Paulo, Brazil

3. Research team meeting, January, 2018, Shanghai China

4. Conference: Cities and mental health: interdisciplinary experiments. June 12-13 2018, Lausanne, Switzerland

5. Conference/workshop: Rapid Urbanization and Health. December 10-12 2018, Shanghai, China

6. Workshop: Migration, Mental Health, and the Mega-City, sponsored by Brocher Foundation, January 24-25 2019, Hermance, Switzerland

M3 Progress update

1. Completed Work Package 1 literature review on the mental health and life of rural-urban migrants in Shanghai.

2. Completed first stage of Work Package 2 ethnography work, which started in January 2017. The first stage ethnography fieldwork focused on migrants’ life in Jiuting Town, Songjiang.

3. We have added an additional Work Package 4, which will collect data on mental health and surrounding social and physical environment with the mobile app ‘Urban Mind’ developed with colleagues at King’s College, London, now being revised for use in China and other M3 cities ( )

4. We have won an additional grant from the King’s – The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), to pilot a parallel study in São Paulo: Mental Health, Migration and the Mega City (Sao Paulo)’ – M3SP

5. We are in discussion with colleagues in Toronto and in Sydney to develop versions of our work in those cities.

6. We have won a workshop grant from Brocher Foundation. Our workshop on Migration, Mental Health and the Mega-City will be held on 24-25 January, 2019, in Geneva, Switzerland.

7. Conference papers presented:

• Fitzgerald, D., Rose, N., Manning, N. Mental Life and the Migrant Megacity: Stressed Out in Shanghai. BSA Annual Conference 2016 – Global Societies: Fragmenting and Connecting. 6-8 April 2016, Birmingham, UK

• Manning, N. and Li, J. Migrants in China’s mega-cities: inequalities in everyday life and mental health. RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2016 – Nexus Thinking. 30 August – 2 September 2016, London, UK

• Li, J. and Manning, N. Precarious urban life and mental health of rural-urban migrants – case of Shanghai. The 11th Japan-Korea-China Joint Conference on Geography: Frontiers of Asian Geography: talking about the decade, creating our future with young spirits. September 11-14, 2016, Sapporo, Japan

• Li, J. and Manning, N. Sociospatial exclusion, precarious urban life and mental health of internal migrants in Shanghai. AAG Annual Meeting, 5-9 April 2017, Boston, US

8. Invited keynote lectures

Rose, N. The Urban Brain: Living in the Neurosocial City. Invited lecture at Aarhus University, Denmark, September 8, 2016; McGill University, Canada, October 29, 2016; University of New South Wales, Sydney, February 2017; University of Western Australia, Sydney, March 2017 and Australian National University, Canberra, March 2017.

9. Forthcoming book

Rose, N. and Fitzgerald, D. (forthcoming 2018) The Urban Brain: Living in the Neurosocial City, Princeton University Press.

10. Working papers

Li, J. and Rose, N. Urban social exclusion and mental health of China’s rural-urban migrants – a review and call for research, under review in Health and Place

Richaud,L. and Amin, A. Life Amidst Rubble: Migrant Mental Health in Urban China and the Management of Subjectivity. To be submitted to Public Culture

Gao, et al., Workplace social capital and mental health of rural migrants in Shanghai. To be submitted to Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

Li, J. and Liu, Z. China’s migrants’ housing stress and mental health. To be submitted to Environment and Planning A

Neuropolis in PLuS Alliance Symposium

Two sessions on Neuropolis were organised by Professor Nik Rose from KCL and Professor Jill Bennett from UNSW for the PLuS Alliance Symposium held on 20 April 2017. Nik talked about the cutting-edge research on neuro-urbanicity with case on mental health, migration and urbanisation in China. Dr. Andrea Mechelli and his colleagues introduced their exciting smartphone app Urban Mind that can capture real time data on people’s mental health status and their surrounding urban environment. Then Jill talked about her ‘Big Anxiety’ project and shared her thoughts on how to leverage art and culture to improve mental well-being. In the afternoon session participants discussed practical matters such as how to get people to use the app and future collaboration opportunities under PLuS Alliance.

Collaboration with Andrea Mechelli to use the ‘Urban Mind’ app in China

We have added an additional Work Package 4, which will collect data on mental health and surrounding social and physical environment with the mobile app ‘Urban Mind’ developed with colleagues at King’s College, London, now being revised for use in China and other M3 cities.

The Urban Mind app is a project lead by Dr Andrea Mechelli, a neuroscientist at King’s College London. It aims to understand how different aspects of the urban environment affect mental wellbeing by collecting real-time data about your current urban environment, lifestyle and mental wellbeing, seven times per day over a period of one week. We hope that the results will inform future urban planning and social policy aimed at improving design & health.