Research and Professional Interests
- Climate change and rural mental health
- Community based system dynamics
- Acute psychiatric systems of care
- Social work education
Brief bio: Chris Weatherly is a 5th year doctoral student in social work at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and is a former National Institute of Mental Health Pre-Doctoral Fellow. He is interested in using participatory and systems-based approaches to investigate the intersections between climate change, environmental degradation, and population mental health. His dissertation focuses on how recent flooding and acute storm events impact rural farmer mental health and he is using semi-structured interviews and community-based system dynamics (CBSD) as methodological approaches to investigate these complex pathways. CBSD prioritizes stakeholders’ and communities’ capabilities and conceptualizations of a presenting issue to ultimately build a formal qualitative theoretical model. Models can ultimately be entered into software for quantitative simulation modeling and to find meaningful and creative (and possibly unconventional) points of intervention.
Chris was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida and has spent most of his adult and professional life in New Orleans, Louisiana. He completed a joint master’s program at the Tulane University Schools of Social Work and Public Health in 2012. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, he has 5 years of clinical experience within inpatient psychiatric, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and emergency department settings.
Chris is also interested in expanding the mental health component within the One Health Framework; and has experience researching and facilitating the implementation of evidence-based mental health interventions in acute psychiatric settings.
His anticipate date of graduation is Spring, 2022.
Teaching experience: Chris has extensive experience teaching master’s students of social work, including as an instructor for a core course on clinical competencies in individual, family, and group environments. He has also worked as a teaching assistant in courses on suicide prevention and treatment, differential diagnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mental health policy. Additionally, he has guest lectured on the topic of climate change and mental health in courses on global public health and for refugee resettlement agencies. He is passionate about social work education and in effectively training students to work in resource depleted systems where it is difficult to maintain a sense of hope due to burnout, vicarious trauma, and high case loads.
Little known facts: Chris is proud of his service in AmeriCorps and has spent one year as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana; and another year as an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader supervising volunteers across the state of Alaska. He very much enjoys eating, biking, learning about animals, and painting.