Program Objectives

Projects undertaken by the Program in Global Mental Health and Social Change are linked to ongoing clinical, research and advocacy efforts in the Americas, Africa, and the Caribbean. Program objectives include:

  • Supporting, monitoring, and evaluating community-based initiatives that integrate prevention, diagnosis, and management of mental health problems in coordination with other health services along the care spectrum, from the community to referral centers.
  • Training medical students, physicians, and other healthcare professionals at in-country centers in partnership with Harvard University, in combined clinical and social medicine approaches to care.
  • Training US-based and visiting healthcare professionals, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and medical students in research methods that will advance excellence in global mental healthcare delivery. Research projects emphasize evaluation of clinical assessment and diagnosis; implementation of evidence-based treatments; analysis of effectiveness and quality of care delivered; community participatory research by those engaged in devising, implementing, and adjusting policies and those directly responsible for delivery of care; and equity concerns at affiliated sites. Training programs are coordinated with existing fellowships, including the Fogarty International Mental Health Training Program for psychiatrists from Shanghai and Beijing, China.
  • Describing, documenting, and understanding complex forces—social, political, and cultural—affecting mental health in the regions where we work.
  • Investigating the potential links between global mental health care delivery strategies and platforms developed for noncommunicable and infectious diseases.

The Program functions as part of a broader collaborative of initiatives in global mental health at Harvard University, including GlobalMentalHealth@Harvard

The Mental Health For All Lab in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, co-led by Professor Vikram Patel, MBBS, PhD, and John Naslund, PhD, promotes the generation of knowledge and its effective utilization with the goal of contributing to the reduction of the global burden of suffering of mental health problems. The specific emphasis of the Lab’s efforts is to leverage digital technology and task-sharing to scale up interventions for the prevention and care of mental health problems across the life course.