Capacity Building in Global Mental Health Research

Graham Thornicroft, Sara Cooper, Tine Van Bortel, Ritsuko Kakuma, Crick Lund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Research-generated information about mental disorders is crucial in order to establish the health needs in a given setting, to propose culturally apt and cost-effective individual and collective interventions, to investigate their implementation, and to explore the obstacles that prevent recommended strategies from being implemented. Yet the capacity to undertake such research in low-and middle-income countries is extremely limited. This article describes two methods that have proved successful in strengthening, or that have the potential to strengthen, mental health research capacity in low-resource settings. We identify the central challenges to be faced, review current programs offering training and mentorship, and summarize the key lessons learned. A structured approach is proposed for the career development of research staff at every career stage, to be accompanied by performance monitoring and support. A case example from the Mental Health and Poverty Project in sub-Saharan Africa illustrates how this approach can be put into practice-in particular, by focusing upon training in core transferrable research skills. (HARV REV PSYCHIATRY 2012; 20: 13-24.)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13 - 24
Number of pages12
JournalHarvard Review of Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


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