About Us

iceberg-of-culture-diversitySeminars and courses are taught at:

-        Brighton and Sussex Medical School, 

-        Northampton University, MSc Psychology 

-        Glasgow Medical School, MSc Global Mental Health

-        Goodmayes Hospital, NELFT

-        Redbridge government (End of Life care) 

-        Northwick Park Hospital (formerly NHS Harrow)

-     POD, Peer-supported Open Dialogue


We are aware of differences of ethnicity and religion, language, country of origin, food and festivities, art and hairstyles. However, these lie above the ‘waterline’. How do we address cultural issues that exist beneath the tip of the iceberg?

Our programmes embrace the following aims: i) to support universal health and social well being; ii) to offer to front line service providers a deeper understanding of cultural knowledge; iii) to offer training to front line medical, health, and social care staff.

The idea came about when medical anthropologist Natalie Tobert was facilitating mental health promotion events with Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority groups. Community and religious leaders thanked her for raising awareness of pathways to access health care, but suggested caring was part of a two way process. They considered their well being could be enhanced by training front line service providers in understanding complex cultural issues.

Aethos Consultancy created training seminars which address that perceived need: to raise awareness of new migrants, cultural BAMER beliefs and knowledge about spirituality and spirit, body and mind, womanhood and conception, death and survival, and mental health and religious experience.

Collaboration was further developed between Natalie Tobert and GP Dr Elizabeth Archer, who ran seminars together at Barts and the London School of Medicine (Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning), and at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Their seminars used both clinical and ethnographic case studies for discussion by participants. In their sessions they explored aspects of consciousness and medicine beyond materialism. Participants especially welcomed their courses on ‘Death, Dying and Beyond’, topics which were not covered in their core curricula.

Margaret McHugh together with Gary Butcher developed pioneering training courses with mental health service users. Their innovative work, based on principles of recovery, has had lasting effects: CNWL (Central and North West London NHS Trust) recently initiated a Recovery College, using their model of training. The projects and drop-in groups they spawned for service users and carers were sustainable.

Amarinder Vadera has specialised in addressing stigma and discrimination, and in working within mental health and culture. 

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