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Global Mental Health Lab

Mission

The mission of the GMH lab at Teachers College is to reduce the burden of mental illness and improve wellbeing in under-resourced communities around the world
through:
• Research on adapting and implementing psychotherapy.
• Training and capacity building in psychotherapy strategies to mental health professionals and lay persons in high, middle and low-income countries.
• Consulting and partnering with global agencies, NGOs, academic centers and ministries of health on building systems of care involving psychotherapy.

Foci

  • Assessment: Of local idioms of distress, mental health needs, and attitudes toward illness and treatment; Instrument development and psychometrics; Development of new and validation of existing symptom and functioning scales; Cross-cultural assessment; Assessment of providers' and supervisor's competence and short- and long-term skill retention; Assessment of mental health, health, and non-health outcomes (such as food security and school attendance of children) related to mental health interventions.
  • Training and Capacity Building: Training of trainers methods; Task shifting strategies and capacity building: effective educational strategies of training and supervising adult learners from various educational backgrounds and cultures; Development of e-tools and knowledge management systems in assessment, training, supervision as well as ongoing monitoring and quality improvement of provider performance and patient care.
  • Psychotherapy in Under-Resourced Settings: Evidence-based psychotherapeutic strategies relevant to GMH; Principles of integrating psychotherapeutic strategies; Cultural competence; Principles of selection of interventions tailored to the demands of each setting; Adaptation of psychosocial interventions for cultural relevance; Manualization of treatment.
  • Research/Implementation: Design and implementation of clinical trials and program evaluations; Ethical conduct of cross-cultural research with vulnerable populations; Prevention science; Identification of sustainable delivery routes and principles of services research.
  • Policy: Country-wide mental health situational analysis; Partnering with government and non-government stakeholders to develop and implement mental health policy; International human rights and public health law as related to mental disabilities; Economics in mental health; Service and human resources development.

 

Launch of the WHO Manual for Interpersonal Psychotherapy (Group)

On World Mental Health Day, 2016 the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended IPT as the first line of treatment of depression,globally. Lena Verdeli is the lead author of the manual for global dissemination manual launched as part of the WHO’s mhGAP program. The manual describes IPT forpatients with depression, in a simplified format, for it to be delivered by non-specialists under supervision.