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Dr Cristian Montenegro

Research Fellow

Cristian is a qualitative health researcher with a background in sociology, community psychology and mental health policy. His work broadly concentrates on the exchanges between health and democracy at the micro (service-user experiences, participation and engagement) and macro-levels (health-related social movements, democratic transitions and health care policy, human rights and grassroots advocacy in health), specifically in the global south. He has conducted research on the experiences of caregivers of persons with psychosocial disabilities and their interaction with care providers, the activist practices of mental health service-user and survivors, the political and administrative dimensions of community participation in healthcare policy, the sociopolitical contexts of psychiatric deinstitutionalization and the social and cultural aspects of early intervention in psychosis. For this, he has used ethnography, oral history, in-depth interviews and documentary analysis.


Currently he is concluding an oral history project centred on the transformation of a large psychiatric hospital in Santiago's outskirts, during and after dictatorship. The project reveals how this transformation -and the policy of Community Mental Health more broadly- embodied a complex tension between a drive towards human rights reparations and social inclusion for psychiatric patients and a neoliberal redefinition of State's responsibilities that reinforced abandonment. 


He is a founding member of the Platform for Social Research in Mental Health in Latin America (PLASMA), an Editorial Board Member of Critical Public HealthPLOS Global Public Health and part of Somatosphere's editorial collaborative.


Recent publications:


Montenegro, C. R., & Szabzon, F. (2021). Co-production? We do community participation. Experiences and perspectives in the context of the COVID-19 crisis from Latin America. In P. Beresford, M. Farr, G. Hickey, M. Kaur, J. Ocloo, D. Tembo, & O. Williams (Eds.), COVID-19 and Co-production in Health and Social Care Research, Policy and Practice: Volume 1: The Challenges and Necessity of Co-productionPolicy Press.


Mascayano, F., Alvarado, R., Martínez-Viciana, C., Irarázaval, M., Durand-Arias, S., Freytes, M., Montenegro, C. R., Susser, E., & Bruni, A. (2021). 30 years from the Caracas Declaration: The situation of psychiatric hospitals in Latin America and the Caribbean prior, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, s00127-021-02100–02101.


Abimbola, S., Asthana, S., Montenegro, CR., Guinto, R. R., Jumbam, D. T., Louskieter, L., Kabubei, K. M., Munshi, S., Muraya, K., Okumu, F., Saha, S., Saluja, D., & Pai, M. (2021). Addressing power asymmetries in global health: Imperatives in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. PLOS Medicine18(4), e1003604.


Tembo, D., Hickey, G., Montenegro, C. R., Chandler, D., Nelson, E., Porter, K., Dikomitis, L., Chambers, M., Chimbari, M., Mumba, N., Beresford, P., Ekiikina, P. O., Musesengwa, R., Staniszewska, S., Coldham, T., & Rennard, U. (2021). Effective engagement and involvement with community stakeholders in the co-production of global health research. BMJ372, n178.


He obtained a PhD from the LSE's Department of Methodology (DoM) in 2018, with a thesis on the emergence of mental health service-user activism in Chile and its receptions in mental health policy. Before joining the WCCEH's, he was an Assistant Professor at the Nursing School of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) and a young researcher at the Millennium Institute for Research on Depression and Personality (MIDAP). He has been a formal advisor to the Department of Mental Health of the Chilean Ministry of Health between 2019 and 2021.

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