photo of David Orr

Dr David Orr

Post:Senior Lecturer in Social Work (Social Work and Social Care)
Location:ESSEX HOUSE EH 219 EH 219

Telephone numbers
UK:01273 678167
International:+44 1273 678167

Research expertise:
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David’s primary research interests lie in mental health and draw on his multidisciplinary background in anthropology, psychology and social work. Before entering academia, he worked in Community Mental Health Teams in Older Adult Mental Health and in Adult Learning Disability. His interests in culture and mental health then led him to complete a PhD in Social Anthropology focusing on understandings and care trajectories of mental disorder in Quechua-speaking rural communities in highland Peru. David retains a strong interest in the challenges and possibilities for mental health care in settings where few specialist professionals are available. 

David joined the University of Sussex in 2011. His recent research projects have focused on adult safeguarding and self-neglect, global mental health, and representations of dementia in contemporary films and fiction. He is co-editor of the Palgrave Handbook of Sociocultural Perspectives on Global Mental Health (2017) and a member of the editorial board of Anthropology in Action

David has supervised doctoral students (recent completions) on the following topics:

First Supervisor

  • Mark Holloway (awarded 2017) Acquired Brain Injury: the lived experience of family members
  • Lorraine Ellames (awarded 2018) Dementia care training for residential care workers: building residential care workers' own views into a conceptual model
  • Simon Abbott (awarded 2018) Using the law in social work Approved Mental Health Professional practice

Second Supervisor 

  • Bella Wheeler (awarded 2017) A Systems-based Study of Narrative and Identity Formation in Environments for Health and Cohesion
  • Elizabeth McCreadie (awarded 2016) Doxa, disability and discrimination