Research Overview

Mental illness represents the leading cause of disability around the globe. With this growing recognition, the pressure to do something is gaining, but if we are going to make progress, we need to build programs that have real impact. The Global Mental Health Program at Columbia is committed to conducting research that will guide global efforts to reduce the burden of disease.

The program’s research initiatives and collaborations are active around the world, including in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, China, India, Pakistan, and Australasia, among other regions. Most recently, GMHP and its Latin American partners were awarded NIH funding to develop a regional “Hub” network in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia.
 

Key Research Initiatives

GMHP-WHO Collaboration

The GMHP at Columbia has partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide scientific leadership and serve as the coordinating center for a global mental health consortium of unprecedented scope that includes participating centers from six continents. The first phase of work will focus on the revision of the WHO ICD-10 and will generate the most extensive database on mental health in the world, as well as the largest and most diverse consortium of researchers and clinicians around the globe. We will then build on the first phase of work to establish a dynamic and ongoing global clinical practice network that will serve as a platform to advance research and the larger global mental health agenda. Learn more about the GMHP-WHO Collaboration and ICD-11 Revision here.

GMHP-WHO Collaboration

HIV Prevention Intervention in Brazil

Led by Dr. Milton Wainberg, the first phase of this NIMH-funded project employed an original adaptation model using evidence-based efficacious prevention interventions to develop a culturally appropriate HIV prevention intervention for people with severe mental illness in Brazil. Building upon this work, the team is now conducting an RCT to test the efficacy of this HIV prevention intervention. Learn more about the HIV Prevention Intervention program in Brazil here.

HIV Prevention Intervention

Tohoku Theater Project

Through the use of theater, we propose to create safe environments for open dialogue about the difficult issues facing Japanese communities in the wake of the 2011 disaster. In collaboration with Japanese theater companies, we will select scenes from plays that depict characters addressing relevant issues in order to elicit open and honest emotional responses from participants, and tackle issues of stigma surrounding mental health in Japanese culture. These performances will be followed by brief panelist responses by community members who have personal experience with the issues portrayed in the plays, culminating in facilitated town hall-style and/or smaller group audience discussions. Learn more about the Tohoku Theater Project here.

Tohoku Theater Project