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Global Mental Health Research Consortium and Scholars Program: Part Two

Monday, June 9, 2014

Part Two: Project Grant

This program expands on the planning grant we received for 2013-2014, which we have directed towards the Global Mental Health Research Consortium and Scholars Program in Amman, Jordan. As was articulated in the original application, our proposal focuses on conducting annual scientific meetings that establish and extend opportunities for research collaboration and programmatic exchange in the field of mental health. Our initiative provides unique opportunities for Columbia students and engages the broader public in better understanding essential priorities in global mental health. 

Mental disorders are the largest contributors to disability globally, yet they are poorly understood and inadequately  treated. The impact of mental illness and gaps in mental health resources are especially profound in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Columbia University has the historic opportunity to be a leader in transforming the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders by participating in a global research initiative to narrow the treatment gap and stimulate the expansion of research and training in mental health. Columbia’s Global Mental Health Program (GMHP) is a key member of the World Health Organization (WHO) initiative to develop the 11thedition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) used by WHO’s 194 member countries to describe all health conditions, including mental disorders. No other classification system impacts public health as directly as the ICD. Our program is centrally involved in this seminal research initiative by providing scientific leadership, data management and support in developing the world’s largest network of mental health professionals. 

1) Leveraging the CGC infrastructure, we will convene the leadership of the WHO ICD-11 Global Mental Health Research Consortium to manage the development and implementation of research on mental disorders and mental health;

2) Given the enormous potential of this unique platform, we will expand the network by engaging regional expertise, with a focus on LMICs where mental health is an emerging public health priority;

3) Recognizing that the future of global mental health depends on mentoring and engaging students and early-career scholars, the third component of our proposal focuses on education and training. 

Our proposal draws together four CGCs. With the essential support of the CGCs and the PGIF, this initiative will establish a sustained and dynamic network in global mental health that profoundly advances scientific knowledge and treatment of mental disorders globally.

Additional Columbia Collaborating Faculty:

  • Michael First
  • Helena Verdeli 
  • Maria Oquendo
  • Milton Wainberg
  • Jeffrey Lieberman, Chair, Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons

External Collaborators:

  • Geoffrey Reed, World Health Organization (Switzerland)
  • Shekhar Saxena, World Health Organization (Switzerland)
  • Brigitte Khoury (Lebanon)
  • Jair Mari (Brasil)
  • Maria Elena Medina-Mora (Mexico)
  • Pratap Sharan (India)
  • Oye Gureje (Nigeria) 



Professor of Psychology and Education (in Psychiatry and Epidemiology) at the Columbia University Medical Center


College of Physicians and Surgeons , Public Health
Epidemiology Department, Psychiatry Department
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