"No survey without service."
The Applied Mental Health Research Group (AMHR), founded in 2004, is an informal group of faculty members of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. AMHR serves low- and middle-income countries worldwide, where mental health services are often non-existent or ineffective. The AMHR group partners with local service providers, usually NGOs and/or ministries of health, to 1) identify and measure salient mental health and psychosocial problems through qualitative data collection methods, 2) guide the selection and design of locally appropriate mental health interventions to address local problems, and 3) monitor and evaluate services. In providing technical assistance to local NGOs and ministries of health, AMHR attempts to build NGO and local country staff interest and capacity in the conduct of science-based mental health needs assessments and the use of data in program Design, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation (collectively referred to as DIME). Capacity building is done through direct training and collaboration on activities that constitute the DIME process, including using the use of qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate a target population's needs, developing screening tools for recruitment into interventions, and conducting impact assessments.
Much of AMHR's research agenda arises from the fact that, unlike many other fields of international health, most mental health and psychosocial interventions have little or no data supporting their use in most non-Western contexts. Local data on the impact of interventions is particularly lacking for most of AMHR’s target populations. This is a critical issue since most interventions come from Western and developed countries and their feasibility and effectiveness in low-resource countries is unknown. When working with implementing partners, the AMHR group is constantly refining methods for conducting impact assessments that are scientifically rigorous and valid, yet feasible for program-based use. AMHR continues to strive to develop and implement methods for conducting accurate assessments and controlled studies across cultures that are within the capabilities and resources of local service providers.
Mending Wounded Mind. The magazine of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Summer 2009.
HIV & AIDS Treatment in Practice, Issue 149, 26 November 2009. AMHR work highlighted under “A model for introducing more targeted interventions.
The DIME process
Publications by AMHR Faculty
Reports by AMHR Faculty