The Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University offers a range of practica experiences that are coordinated with the GMHP’s on-going general research programs. There are a variety of practica opportunities for individuals at different stages of their career. Details on current opportunities are provided below. This page will be updated continuously as new opportunities become available.

Please Note: Applicants must be enrolled in a Columbia University graduate program in Psychology or Public Health to apply.


GMHP WHO ICD-11 Collaboration Practica Opportunities

The GMHP WHO ICD-11 Collaboration offers opportunities for individuals at all stages of their careers to engage in pioneering work in the areas of diagnosis, culture and psychopathology and health services delivery. This collaboration offers the opportunity to engage with mental health professionals from around the globe. Click the button below or visit the Research section of our website to learn more about this research collaboration:

WHO ICD-11 Field Studies Internshipclick link to download a detailed description

Read more about the Global Mental Health Program’s collaborating with the World Health Organization below.

GMHP WHO ICD-11 Collaboration


Africa Mental Health Foundation Practica Opportunities

The GMHP has an ongoing collaboration with the Africa Mental Health Foundation (AMHF) [more], which is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, and directed by Dr. David Ndetei. The collaboration includes research investigations that address clinical priorities in the region as well as educational and training exchanges between our programs. AMHF is a non-governmental organization, operating in Kenya and the entire East African region and is now the premier Mental Health Research and Resource Centre in the region. Click the button below or visit the Research section of our website to learn more about this collaboration and potential practica opportunities:

AMHF Capacity Building and Advocacy Internshipclick link to download a detailed description

GMHP AMHF Collaboration

Qualitative Analysis Opportunities

Over the past five years New York State has heavily expanded its efforts to integrate care through various initiatives funded at either the federal or state level. Data is used to identify structural, process, and contextual factors that help or hinder uptake of integration initiatives at different phases of the implementation process (i.e. at adoption, capacity-building, maturation and maintenance). In addition, the study will conduct key informant interviews at sites using the other mechanisms to integrate care to identify contrast factors that may be relevant to the implementation of integration through different means.Click the button below or visit the division website to learn more about this collaboration and potential practica opportunities:

Improving the Physical Health of People with Serious Mental Illness: A Qualitative Analysis click link to download a detailed description

Division of Mental Health Services and Policy Research, Columbia Psychiatry

Evaluating Child Friendly Spaces in Emergencies

In an effort to address the need for an evidence base on the effectiveness of Child Friendly Spaces (CFS), World Vision International and Columbia University have partnered in a research and learning project. The project focuses on documenting the impact of CFSs on children’s social and emotional wellbeing, sense of security and protection and – where appropriate – acquisition of skills and competencies. A series of six action-learning studies has been completed across a range of geographical contexts as well as types of emergencies (slow onset, rapid onset, conflict, natural disaster) to document the protective and restorative effectiveness of CFSs and identify good practice in design and implementation of interventions.

Click the button below to learn more about current projects:

Evaluating Child Friendly Spaces in Emergenciesclick link to download a detailed description

Evaluating Child Friendly Spaces in Emergencies

General Application Form: Practica Opportunities

PLEASE NOTE: Only Columbia enrolled graduate students in Public Health or Psychology may apply for these Practica opportunities. If you are interested in other internship or employment opportunities, please indicate your interest in the form provided in the Contact section of this website.

2017 Practica Profiles

Amruta Houde


Picture_Amruta HoudeAmruta Houde, a 2nd year MPH student in the Mailman School’s Sociomedical Sciences Department doing a certificate in Global Health, completed her practicum at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo in Brazil where she worked with a team in the Department of Psychiatry on a research study looking at the development of preschool children in urban Sao Paulo, especially those experiencing traumatic events. Her research interests center on mental health and disorders of preschool children living in poverty, and she brought to her practicum a range of experiences in both academic mental health research settings as well as on-the-ground exposure to NGOs that serve vulnerable children and adolescents through afterschool activities and group therapy. “My time in São Paulo has been quite enriching,” she writes, “as I immersed myself in the Brazilian culture and learned about the perception and attitudes towards mental health and limited access to care.”

Nicole Khauli


Originally from Lebanon, Nicole Khauli is a second year MPH student in the department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School and completed her 6-month global health practicum at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. There, she undertook the role of regional coordinator for the Arab participating sites in the WHO ICD-11 ecological implementation field studies concerned with the revision of the classification of mental and behavioral disorders. She was also involved in epidemiological research while abroad, examining the effects of alcohol policies on youth alcohol consumption in Lebanon.

Ayo Ojo


ayoOluwabusayo Ojo, a second year MPH Epidemiology Student with a global health certificate, spent his 2017 Practicum at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Ogun State, Nigeria. “I chose this site because it provided the opportunity to identify and support research priorities that lead to improvement in the lives of those living with neuropsychiatric and substance use disorders in Nigeria,” he says. As a Nigerian-American, a high priority for his research is the reduction of stigma through harm reduction initiatives in low-resource settings. “I am currently assisting the prioritization of research as it relates to delivery of mental health care by creating a comprehensive database to record patient information for the Aro Primary Care and Mental Health program. This aims at improving the quality of data flow from the local sites and may potentially serve as a strong evidence base to garner more resources. I have also been involved in the framework development for a new self-help group initiative and ICD-11 field studies. So far, I have been able to learn, understand and practice navigating cultural barriers/norms in a dynamic professional setting.”

Marie Onakomaiya

The interesting architecture of the Livraria Cultura on Avenida Paulista, the largest bookstore in Sao Paulo.

The interesting architecture of the Livraria Cultura on Avenida Paulista, the largest bookstore in Sao Paulo.

An accelerated MPH student in the General Public Health track at Mailman, Marie Onakomaiya spent her summer in Sao Paulo, Brazil conducting research with Dr. Jair Mari in the Psychiatry department at the Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP). Her project was part of a population neuroscience study of children in Brazil with a high risk for developing mental health disorders. “I chose this placement for three reasons,” she writes. “First, because I am interested in mental health, second because I wanted to conduct neuroscience research in an LMIC, and third because this project incorporated neuroscience and epidemiology in a unique way. The main lesson I learned here is how much emphasis the faculty and students here place on collaboration. Everyone went out of their way to ensure I had all the resources and expertise I needed and were quick to connect me with someone who could help, if they were not able to provide it themselves.”



Mary Raddawi

South Africa

A second year medical student at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Mary Raddawi’s summer practicum placement was with the Perinatal Mental Health Project (PMHP) in Cape Town, South Africa. PMHP offers free mental health screenings and counseling services at three different Midwife Obstetric Units (MOUs). They service many women living in high crime and/or high poverty areas. They also create educational materials; promote awareness of postnatal depression; and conduct research around best practice and current findings in prevention and treatment of postnatal mental health problems  “My summer culminated in the creation of a chapter about the effects of postpartum depression on infant mental health, to be added into one of PMHP’s existing publications on maternal mental health,” Mary reports. “To do this, I shadowed screenings for depression across the MOUs, as well as closed patient files. I also shadowed a clinician at an HIV clinic in one of the city’s government hospitals.” Mary explored South Africa to the fullest while she was there. “During my free time, I hiked table mountain, saw elephants and penguins, tried over 10 different restaurants, visited a vineyard, and did a road trip along the coast. It was truly an unforgettable summer!”

Ian Rodgers


Ian Rodgers is a second-year MPH student from Colorado. He is studying epidemiology with a certificate in public health and humanitarian assistance. Ian completed his practicum at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro in Southwestern Nigeria, working with members of the Aro Primary Care and Mental Health Program team. Together, he and Busayo Ojo, another Mailman epidemiology student, created an electronic database of the 2000 patients the program has seen since its inception in 2011. They plan on working with psychiatrists and epidemiologists at the hospital to analyze the data to help improve the program. Ian learned many lessons in professional diplomacy and cross-cultural communication throughout his time in Nigeria, and also improved his database management skills.