Trauma and Resilience Research Consultant
Ryka, our Trauma and Resilience Research Consultant, is a researcher based out of Boston, MA. She currently works with the Trauma and Community Resilience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and with the University of Illinois at Chicago. She came to IMHA through searching for a volunteer position within Global Mental Health. She ended up staying because she found a community of hardworking, passionate mental health enthusiasts to learn from and grow with.
Ryka’s core strengths are her enthusiasm, grit, and ability to speed read. She values kindness, humanism, and those who are curious for knowledge. Ryka is a Social Science and Clinical Research Specialist working on a variety of projects, primarily on multidisciplinary violence prevention and countering extremist violence. Her current research encompasses identifying best practices for the rehabilitation and reintegration of children and spouses repatriated from formerly Islamic State-controlled territories.
Ryka received her MSc in Global Mental Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and King’s College London in 2018, focusing her dissertation on community-based child protection services in the occupied Palestinian territories. Her previous work has spanned from bereavement in military families with the Department of Defense to population health studies in South Africa and trauma in Hurricane Katrina survivors with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Ryka is passionate about studying trauma, coercive control, extremist ideology, human trafficking, and forced displacement. Her research interests draw from her own lived experience of growing up in, and subsequent leaving of, an extremist religious cult.
“The essence of global health equity is the idea that something so precious as health might be viewed as a right.” - Paul Farmer