Sanam Ahmadzada is a PhD candidate at the School of Public Health at the University of Queensland (UQ), studying mental health stigma in refugee and migrant communities and co-designing a mental promotion program.
She has also been an adjunct fellow at the School of Public health (UQ) and a Research Officer within the Mental Health in Shock Events and Vulnerable Communities Research Stream of the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research (QCMHR) for the past five years after finishing her Masters in International Public Health.
Sanam is a refugee health consultant (G11 member) with Mater Refugee Health Network and works directly with refugees from Afghanistan and the multicultural health sector and sits on several working groups and advisory councils focusing on policy reform, health equity and promotion.
Sanam is passionate about transcultural mental health, primarily focusing on refugees and migrants, health equity, mental health promotion, stigma reduction, suicide prevention, and using a community-centred approach. She advocates for tackling systemic issues and leads her work using a socio-political determinants lens. She draws on her experiences as a former refugee from Afghanistan and her personal experiences with mental illness and the loss of a family member to suicide.
Sanam also has extensive experience in promoting diversity and inclusion in her places of work and education through her involvement with different councils and committees.
Her main projects at QCMHR included an evaluation of the Multicultural Psychological Therapies Program at the World Wellness Group and an evaluation of the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Suicide Prevention Project being developed by the Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Centre.