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The Yale Center for Methods in Implementation and Prevention Science Launches Its Global Mental Health Promotion Program, Led by Dr. Theddeus Iheanacho, with an Inaugural Lecture by Dr. Vikram Patel

March 26, 2021
by Jazmin Lopez

The Center for Methods in Implementation and Prevention Science (CMIPS) is launching its Global Mental Health Promotion (GMHP) Program to help bridge the gap between knowledge and practice in mental health promotion, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Although there is ample evidence for the effectiveness of various interventions for common mental disorders, access to and availability of these interventions remain low. Up to 65% of people in LMICs suffering from mental disorders do not get treatment.

The new program begins with an inaugural lecture on April 1 by Vikram Patel, PhD, MBBS, from Harvard Medical School, entitled “Reimagining Mental Health Care in the US: Lessons from the Global South.”

Headed by Theddeus Iheanacho, MD, an expert in mental health promotion interventions in resource-limited settings who has a well-developed community-based research network, the GMHP Program emphasizes implementation science in the promotion of mental health around the world through a network of faculty and associated activities. An Associate Professor at the Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Iheanacho maintains a deep investment in global mental health, publishing most recently on the integration of mental health into HIV programs and the utilization of a church-based platform for mental health interventions in Nigeria. Dr. Iheanacho explains that the new research program will “support existing research partnerships” and catalyze “new implementation research around the world aimed at promoting mental health.”

The full scope of the GMHP Program also includes developing robust multidisciplinary collaborations among Yale faculty members through the use of platforms for the dissemination of ideas and high-quality training in global mental health promotion and emphasizing the cultural adaptation of interventions and their integration into existing service frameworks, scale-up, and sustainability.

To mark the official launch of this new CMIPS program, Dr. Patel will deliver the inaugural lecture “Reimagining Mental Health Care in the US: Lessons from the Global South.” A leader in global mental health and the recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Patel’s work has focused on the burden of mental health problems, their association with social disadvantage, and the use of community resources for their prevention and treatment. Representative of such work is the implementation study ESSENCE: Enabling translation of Science Service to ENhance Depression CarE, conducted along with CMIPS Director Dr. Donna Spiegelman in Madhur Pradesh, India, concerning the scale-up of training community health workers to deliver an evidence-based intervention using cognitive behavioral therapy to treat depression.

Dr. Iheanacho invites those in the Yale community interested in mental health promotion to attend Dr. Patel’s lecture, noting that “the US can learn a lot from what has been shown to work in low-resource settings around the world.” The virtual event will be on Thursday, April 1, 2021, at 12:00 pm EDT. Complete details are available here.

Submitted by William Tootle on March 26, 2021