Richard Appiah


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Further Information



Richard Appiah, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Northumbria University. He specialises in applied health, positive, and clinical psychology. His work primarily examines and leverages the strengths, capacities, and traits/virtues of individuals and groups to design and evaluate positive psychology and health behaviour change intervention programmes to promote mental health, build resilience, and optimise functioning. Dr Appiah began his academic career at the University of Ghana, where he obtained a master’s degree in clinical psychology, before moving to North-West University, Potchefstroom, to pursue a doctorate in health sciences with positive psychology. He was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Center for African Studies, Harvard University, from September 2021 to August 2023. Prior to joining academia, Dr Appiah was a practitioner clinical psychologist, and had collaborated with Innovations for Poverty Action and Heifer Ghana on the Escaping Poverty Project, where he co-developed group-based mental health and strengths-based intervention modules and led their implementation in 165 rural communities across four regions of Ghana.

Dr Appiah has had grant funding from the DFID, NIHSS-CODESRIA (South Africa), University of Pennsylvania Global Engagement Fund, LEGO Foundation, and Harvard University. He is a fellow of the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (South Africa) and a Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg. His scholarly work is published in peer-reviewed journals and books on themes that coalesce around his research interests, including positive psychology, mental health and well-being, human flourishing, cross-cultural mental health, research ethics, and psychometrics. He serves as Review Editor and Guest Associate Editor for Frontiers in Psychology and Psychiatry, and reviews for a dozen mental health-focused journals. His additional area of expertise is mental health/behaviour change intervention programme development.

Dr Appiah’s research collaboration and supervision bridges between positive/health and clinical psychology, with broad objectives that include, but not limited to: a) exploring individual, group, and contextual factors that bolster (positive) mental health, build resilience, and promote flourishing; b) designing and evaluating the effects of positive psychology and/or behaviour change intervention programmes to promote mental well-being and increase flourishing across population groups; c) exploring, evaluating, and promoting strengths-based programmes/strategies to enhance well-being, improve quality of life, and reduce disparities in health outcomes among vulnerable individuals, communities, and minority groups; and d) generating, adapting, or validating mental health and well-being assessment tools for mental health practitioners and researchers across contexts.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Psychology, PhD

21 May 202031 Dec 2099

Award Date: 21 May 2020

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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