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Global Mental Health

Program Overview and Requirements


The GMH program is led by faculty in the Department of Mental Health together with faculty from the Departments of International Health and Epidemiology. This diverse group of GMH faculty have extensive experience in intervention development, implementation and evaluation in low-resource settings in the US and globally. Through training and mentorship, our primary goal is to provide the next generation of global mental health researchers with the tools necessary to:

  1. Advance knowledge of the causes and consequences of mental disorders in diverse populations;
  2. Develop, implement, and evaluate rationally designed interventions to prevent and treat these disorders and promote well-being;
  3. Address treatment gaps in mental health services in low-resource settings through innovative research; and,
  4. Critically examine the integration of mental health services into other care systems to improve health outcomes.



Course Work 

The training program’s required course work includes intensive formal instruction in epidemiology, psychiatric epidemiology, biostatistics, and public mental health. Predoctoral fellows complete the course requirements for their home department; fellows not in the Department of Mental Health are also encouraged to complete the Public Mental Health Research Certificate program. Coursework is designed to provide trainees with a broad background in mental health and public health methodology. In addition, a 3-course series focused on global mental services and research is required for all GMH trainees:

Collaborative Research and Field Experience

A fundamental part of this training program is the ability to gain applied experience in collaborative research and field-based learning under faculty mentorship. Research projects and field-experiences will vary based on the interests and prior experience of the trainee, as well as studies currently in place during the training period. During the first two terms of each academic year, fellows are introduced to the current projects of the GMH training program faculty, with integration into ongoing research projects generally beginning in the 3rdand 4th terms.  Over the course of each fellows training, we try to ensure all fellows gain experience with all stages of the research process, including grant development, IRB applications (US and global), study initiation and implementation, data management and analysis, and dissemination of results.

Field experiences typically range from 2-week intensive field-based studies, to summer-long experiences. Fellows are generally involved in more than one project over the course of their training fellowship. Some field-based research examples of prior and current trainees include:

Financial support for field experiences are not provided by the training program, but faculty will work with students and fellows to identify appropriate funding sources including:

Integrative Activities

This component includes integrative activities that GMH trainees will participate in that are outside their normal research collaborations, in order to expand their global mental health training experience. These serve the purpose of bringing together the trainees to instill a common culture of global mental health, expose them to the diversity of issues of interest in the field, and provide a mechanism for learning from other students and faculty interested in global mental health.

These include a range of specialized activities organized specifically for trainees with the dual purpose of (a) providing multiple forums, educational experiences, and research opportunities specifically geared toward their development as expert scientists in global mental health; and (b) coordinating and integrating the wide range of departmental and university-wide courses, seminars, and research meetings in which they also regularly participate.