Building capacity

Building Capacity

The Centre for Global Mental Health operates a full range of capacity building projects, including in-country training of human resources for mental health care and international research capacity building hubs. On this page we provide a sample of the kinds of projects we are working on in this regard.


Building Research and Leadership Capacity in Africa

AMARI - The African Mental Health Research Initiative

The African Mental Health Research Initiative (AMARI) is part of the Wellcome Trust’s DELTAS program (Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science). Its goal is to build an Africa-led network of researchers across Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe, who specialise in Mental, Neurological and Substance use (MNS) disorders. MNS disorders are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, but a huge treatment gap exists for them: only 10% of people with MNS disorders access evidence-based treatments in low-income countries. Part of the reason for this is limited research capacity in interventions, services and health systems. AMARI aims to recruit, train and support nearly 50 African researchers at MPhil, PhD and Post-Doc levels to conduct MNS research. This fits into a larger objective of establishing sustainable career pipelines for MNS researchers in Africa. AMARI is led from University of Zimbabwe with support from CGMH.

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Building Research and Teaching Capacity in Zimbabwe

IMHERZ: Improving Mental Health Education and Research Capacity in Zimbabwe

An IMHERZ training workshopIMHERZ is part of the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), funded by U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the NIH. The MEPI program aims to build numbers and quality of health professionals across a dozen African countries. Led by the University Of Zimbabwe College Of Health Sciences, IMHERZ’s primary aim is to build Zimbabwe’s mental health research and teaching capacity. IMHERZ is a complex intervention with many separate but mutually reinforcing components; including master classes, mentored studentships and faculty exchanges. Thanks to IMHERZ, faculty consultant psychiatrists have increased by 300% since 2010 (1 to 4). Zimbabwean faculty and trainees have developed new clinical services, including child, forensic, and community psychiatry; have revised undergraduate and post-graduate psychiatry curricula; and have significantly enhanced their research skills and outputs.

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Building Clinical and Research Capacity in Africa

AFFIRM: AFrica Focus on Intervention Research for Mental health

The AFFIRM 2014 Mphil groupFunded by NIMH, AFFIRM is a research and capacity development Hub established in 6 countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. AFFIRM aims to investigate cost effective interventions for mental health disorders and to build individual and institutional capacity for intervention research. Its two randomised controlled trials are investigating task-sharing by community health workers in South Africa and by primary health care workers in Ethiopia. AFFIRM has recently offered 5 Fellowships to candidates from Hub countries (excluding South Africa) to complete the MPhil in Public Mental Health offered by University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University. By establishing a network of collaboration between researchers, NGOs and government agencies, AFFIRM aims to facilitate the translation of research knowledge into policy and practice.

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Building Clinical and Research Capacity in Asia

SHARE: South Asian Hub for Advocacy, Research & Education on Mental Health

The countries covered by SHAREFunded by NIMH, SHARE is a multi-component, multi-country program whose goal is to establish a collaborative network of institutions to conduct and implement research that answers questions related to policies for reducing the mental health treatment gap in South Asia. Through its Thinking Health Programme/Peer delivery project, SHARE will develop an innovative, effective, and sustainable approach for the delivery of an established psychological treatment that reduces the burden of depression in mothers in South Asia. The group aims to address a key barrier to the scaling up of mental health interventions in LMIC—the lack of trained local providers—by adapting an existing evidence-based intervention, so that it can be delivered by peer counselors (experienced women living in the same community) in partnership with established community health workers.

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Building Clinical and Research Capacity in Latin America

LATIN-MH: Latin American Treatment & Innovation Network in Mental Health

The countries covered by Latin-MHJointly led by Prof Paulo Menezes and Prof Ricardo Araya, the LATIN-MH team envisions an integrated system of primary care and secondary mental health services for individuals with severe mental disorders, tailored to the distinctive context of urban Latin America. Funded by NIMH, its main sites are Brazil and Peru, with Colombia, Guatemala and Ecuador as satellite sites. The long-term goal of LATIN-MH is to improve health services for people with severe mental disorders, partly through providing training and support to young local researchers. LATIN-MH’s primary research project is a randomised control trial of a mobile phone app for depressed people with co-morbid hypertension and/or diabetes. The app is supported by nurses using a technological platform (dashboard) through which they can view information recorded by the app.

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