Eleni is a doctoral student of social work at the Brown School. Eleni is interested in the relationship between housing stability and mental health. Specifically, she is interested in how the interaction between gender, stigma, and exposure to violence contribute to housing and mental health outcomes, including suicidal behavior and risky substance abuse. Further, how qualitative methods illuminating the lived experiences of stigma, and access to mental health services among persons experiencing homelessness can contribute to improved linkages between housing and mental health services. Eleni is interested in exploring this dynamic among homeless or unstably housed veterans, LGBT youth, and persons living with serious mental illness.
During the doctoral program, Eleni has worked on as a research assistant exploring the lived experiences stigma and mental health among transgender and gender non-conforming older adults. Currently, she is building skills to learn how machine-learning and mixed methods can be used to reduce bias and improve referrals in the housing system.
Eleni grew up in Chicago and Boston and has since lived in New York City, Southeast Asia, Scandinavia, and East Africa. Eleni received an MSW from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA) in 2016 and an MscPH degree from Lund University in Sweden in 2012. After receiving her MscPH, she worked for the International Organization for Migration (now UN Migration) Mission to Tanzania in the migration health department. With the IOM, she advocated and assisted in coordinating cross-country research on how the vulnerabilities surrounding migration, mobility, and experiences of discrimination impacted health. After witnessing a gap in knowledge and service of mental health services for highly mobile and conflict exposed populations, Eleni pursed her MSW at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. There she completed social work practicums working with homeless women in a supportive housing unit and at the VA with veterans with serious mental illness and in the inpatient unit. Before the doctoral program, Eleni has participated in academic research at several universities, including the University of Copenhagen’s Center for Migration Ethnicity and Health on a qualitative study on social support and end of life care and the University of Chicago, exploring mental health outcomes among ultra-poor children in Burkina Faso.