Ricardo Araya Baltra

Ricardo Araya Baltra


    • SE5 8AF

      United Kingdom

    • 16236

    Personal profile

    Research interests

    Research interests and publications are in the following areas:

    • The study of common mental disorders in primary health care and in the community
    • Treatment of common mental disorders
    • Aetiology of mental disorders

    My field of expertise is in the development and implementation of simple and affordable interventions to treat mental disorders, particularly in resource-poor settings. I previously developed a model of care to treat common mental disorders, which has been adapted and used in several middle and low-income countries. I have a leading role in a number of major initiatives to increase mental research capacity in Latin America, and I have strong collaborative links with a wide range of research partners in Africa.

    Biographical details

    Professor Ricardo Araya qualified in Medicine from Facultad de Medicina Universidad de Chile in 1982, and became a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1987. Shortly after qualifying, he joined South London and the Maudsley and the Bethlem Royal Hospital rotation, initially as a Clinical Associate, afterwards as a Registrar/Senior Registrar. He returned to Chile in 1992 to work as a Senior Scientific Advisor at the Ministry of Health and subsequently Director of the Primary Care Evaluation Unit. He was Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, Universidad de Chile from 1995 to 1999, when he moved back to the UK to take on the role of Senior Lecturer at University of Wales.


    Ricardo was awarded his PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry in 2000 and was appointed Professor of Psychiatry at University of Bristol, where he conducted a large volume of research from 2002 to 2013. A study undertaken by his team and published in the Lancet (Treating depression in primary care in low-income women in Santiago, Chile: a randomised controlled trial; 2003) paved the way to the introduction of the first National Depression Treatment Programme in Primary Care in Chile. This model of care has been adapted and replicated in India, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Lebanon.


    Prior to joining King’s College London, Ricardo was a Professor of Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and co-Director of the Centre for Global Mental Health, a joint venture between the LSHTM and IoPPN. He is the Global Mental Health Research Group Lead and Director of the joint CGMH, which is based in the Health Service and Population Research Department at the IoPPN.


    Research interests (short)

    The study of common mental disorders in primary health care and the community; the treatment of common mental disorders; the aetiology of mental disorders.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 1 - No Poverty
    • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 4 - Quality Education
    • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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