Flora Cohen, PhD

Flora Cohen, PhD, LCSW is a dedicated professor, therapist, and researcher with a profound commitment to unraveling the complexities of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing, particularly in cross-cultural contexts. As an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Flora teaches courses on global mental health, intervention implementation, and rigorous research methods to undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. Clinically, Flora has largely worked with people experiencing common mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. She also works with clients to integrate cultural idioms of distress and healing into treatment approaches. Flora has lent her expertise to humanitarian efforts internationally, working intimately with forcibly displaced populations to co-develop, co-implement, and co-evaluate community-based psychosocial support interventions alongside community members. Informed by transformative and liberatory theories, Flora is an advocate for participatory and decolonized approaches to research and programming.

Email: fcohen@illinois.edu

Professional Expertise


International development, Social work, Social and behavioral sciences


Common mental health conditions, Conflict/post-conflict settings, Disaster relief/response, Displaced population health, migration/refugee issues, Gender-based violence and intimate partner violence, Grief and loss, Maternal and child health, Non-communicable diseases, Primary health care, Resilience, Severe mental health conditions, Stress and coping, Trauma

Methodological Areas

Community engagement and CBPR, Efficacy/effectiveness trials, Grant and proposal writing, Human-centered design/design thinking/innovation techniques, Implementation science, Intervention development and testing, mHealth/eHealth, Program evaluation, Qualitative methods, Systematic review/metaanalyses

Strategies expertise

Community engagement, Capacity building, Dissemination and implementation, Intervention scale-up, Quality improvement, Sustainability, Task shifting/sharing

Intervention Expertise

Behavioral activation, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Family interventions, Health system interventions, Interpersonal therapy, Mental health awareness/promotion, Mindfulness/meditation, Parenting interventions, Problem solving therapy, Psychosocial skills, School-based interventions, Support groups, Evidence-based mental health practices

Partnership Expertise

Community-based organizations/coalitions, International NGOs, Schools and universities