Willen is a medical anthropologist who studies how structural inequities limit people’s chances of leading healthy and flourishing lives. She has published widely on issues of illegalized migration, migration and health, health and human rights activism, and other topics. Willen is Principal Investigator of ARCHES | the AmeRicans’ Conceptions of Health Equity Study (funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), Co-Founder of the Pandemic Journaling Project, and Co-PI of an NSF-funded study on how Covid-19 is affecting first-generation college students and their families. She serves on several editorial boards, including Social Science & Medicine and Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry.
In the News
Discusses how In recent years, human flourishing and its relationship to mental health have attracted significant attention. Mentions that as an interdisciplinary, mixed-methods team rooted in the critical social sciences of health, we are intrigued by the possibility that a focus on flourishing may reinvigorate health research, policy, and clinical care -- but argue that current proposals must be met with caution.
Mentions that in recent years, flourishing has become a topic of interest in a wide range of health-related fields; in some policy circles; and even in the corporate sector. Discusses how given this burgeoning and wide-ranging interest, this special issue proposes that now is an opportune moment to step back and take stock of the range of ways in which scholars, clinicians, policymakers, and funders are thinking about flourishing.
Argues that now is an opportune moment to step back and take stock of the range of ways in which researchers, clinicians, activists, funders, and policymakers are thinking about flourishing, especially in relation to questions of mental health and well-being. In this conversation, the critical social sciences of health have important roles to play.