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New Grant for Global Mental Health Supports Establishing a Model for Mental Health Implementation Training in Developing Countries

June 30, 2014

 Contact:         Dacia Morris

                        (646) 774-8724





New Grant for Global Mental Health Supports Establishing a Model for Mental Health Implementation Training in Developing Countries


NEW YORK, NY– (June 30, 2014) Fogarty International Center has awarded a total of $5.8 million to the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) and four other institutions to support crucial research training in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The training awards are in response to the rapid growth of mental illness and other non-communicable diseases in developing countries, where clinicians and researchers who are properly trained to deal with these conditions are often in short supply. Five-year grants from the Chronic, Non-communicable Diseases and Disorders Across the Lifespan: Fogarty International Research Training Award (NCD LIFESPAN) program will enable LMIC institutions to build expertise, create curriculum in research areas related to non-communicable health problems, and ultimately produce locally relevant, evidence-based interventions.


"Chronic diseases continue to rapidly increase in low- and middle-income countries, affecting the quality of life of their populations and weakening their economies," said Fogarty Director Dr. Roger I. Glass. "These new awards will help build the ranks of trained, locally-based experts who can tackle these complex conditions."

The awards will support a diverse array of projects. Mental health implementation training for Mozambican scientists will be the focus of a “South-South” (between developing countries), Portuguese-language collaborative initiative being launched by NYSPI, in partnership with Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique and the Federal University of São Paulo in Brazil. The ultimate goal is to establish Mozambique as a model for mental health training for other Portuguese-speaking African countries and other low-resource regions.

“Our department's expertise in global mental health implementation science, as well as our collaborations with our long-term Brazilian partners at UNIFESP and the Vanderbilt Global Health Center, led to this training grant application for mental health implementation research, one of the first of its kind in NIH,” said Milton Wainberg, MD, research psychiatrist at NYSPI and associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia Department of Psychiatry and co-principal investigator with professor of psychiatry and vice chair for education Maria Oquendo, MD. 

“As a clear leader in the Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP—Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa),” said Dr. Wainberg, “Mozambique can be a model to other PALOP and sub-Saharan African countries as well as other low-resource settings, including the US, and thus help decrease the global mental health research and treatment gap.”

Chronic diseases are steadily increasing around the globe; they will soon account for more than 50 percent of health-care expenditures and more than 60 percent of the disability-adjusted life years. Fogarty's NCD LIFESPAN program is designed to provide a foundation for the development and implementation of evidence-based interventions, relevant to non-communicable diseases across the lifespan in LMICs. In some cases, sufficient evidence exists for interventions and implementation strategies, while in other cases, the evidence base may not be well developed or relevant to the given country or culture. To address this gap, training across the spectrum of research disciplines is encouraged—from basic biomedical, behavioral, and social sciences to clinical and applied sciences, including translational and implementation science emphasizing the resources, context, and needs of those in local settings.

Fogarty's NIH funding partners for the awards include the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Institute of Mental Health.

In addition to Dr. Wainberg’s PALOP Mental Health Implementation Research Grant, the Fogarty 2014 awards will support:


NCD-LIFESPAN Global Mental Health/Developmental Disorders Research Training Institute (Azerbaijan, Turkey)
Children's Hospital, Boston
Principal Investigator: Dr. Kerim Munir


Addressing Mental Illness and Physical Co-morbidities in Migrants and Their Families (Kosovo, Tajikistan)
University of Illinois at Chicago
Principal Investigator: Dr. Stevan Weine


Strengthening Nurse NCD Research and Training Capacity in Thailand
University of Michigan
Principal Investigators: Dr. Kathleen Potempa and Dr. Antonia Villarruel


Cross-fertilized Research Training for New Investigators in Egypt and India
University of Pittsburgh
Principal Investigators: Dr. Vishwajit Nimgaonkar, Dr. Smita Deshpande, and Dr. Hader Mansour


Columbia University Department of Psychiatry and New York State Psychiatric Institute (Columbia Psychiatry/NYSPI)

New York State Psychiatric Institute (founded in 1896) and the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry have been closely affiliated since 1925. Their co-location in a New York State facility on the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center campus provides the setting for a rich and productive collaborative relationship among scientists and physicians in a variety of disciplines. Columbia Psychiatry/NYSPI are ranked among the best departments and psychiatric research facilities in the nation and have contributed greatly to the understanding of and current treatment for psychiatric disorders.  The Department and Institute are home to distinguished clinicians and researchers noted for their clinical and research advances in the diagnosis and treatment of depression, suicide, schizophrenia, bipolar and anxiety disorders, and childhood psychiatric disorders. Their combined expertise provides state-of-the-art clinical care for patients and training for the next generation of psychiatrists and psychiatric researchers. Visit and for more information.


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