Global Mental Health Program

The Program in Global Mental Health (GMH) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) enhances access to mental health care for people in East Harlem and around the world. Our program develops, trains, and educates ISMMS students, residents, and faculty to provide mental health services to those who need them most.

Our trainees and faculty work right in our own backyard of East Harlem and around the world to provide mental health services to underserved communities. Below is a list of our ongoing global mental health field projects and collaborations:

During their spring break medical trips, ISMMS medical students observed the mental health needs in Belize. Our collaboration and long-standing partnership with the country is a result of those observations.

The overall focus of the program has been on supervising and teaching psychiatric nurse practitioners—the backbone of the public mental health system. Other health care professionals, correctional staff, and police are also being trained.

Training subjects include addictions, child mental health, and psychotherapy.

The Belize Ministry of Health is also a periodic site for medical and public health summer research projects that support our service, including research on police knowledge, attitudes towards mental health, and the impact of shifting to a community mental health model.

Following an Initial Needs Assessment visit to Monrovia in March, 2011, the Icahn School of Medicine partnered with the Carter Center and the Ministry of Health in Liberia.

The overall focus of the program is to implement a new national mental health policy focused on developing community-based psychiatry services in the country.

Current efforts are focused on:

  • Teaching, training, and supervising Carter Center trained Mental Health Clinicians (nurses and physician assistants), via in-country visits and remote teleconference.
  • Tele-psychiatry supervision pilot underway

Learn more about the Carter Center

The Icahn School of Medicine partners with the Japanese Medical Society of America, Fukushima Medical University, the 9/11 Tribute Center, American Airlines, and Rotary International to share Mount Sinai’s experience with the mental health aftermath of 9/11 and other disasters.

Primary activities center on:

  • Medical and public health student summer research projects related to the mental health aspects of 3/11
  • An annual outreach trip by 9/11 survivors as part of a cultural and humanitarian exchange with 3/11 survivors

Learn more about Fukushima Medical University

As a partner of MINDS Foundation and its collaborators in Vadodara, Gujarat, the Icahn School of Medicine assists in extending mental health education and services outside of the university into local villages.

Research and service efforts focus on:

  • Understanding and working with traditional healers
  • Establishing village based mental health advocates
  • Working with local primary care professionals,
  • Enhancing awareness of mental illness other than chronic mental illness (especially Major Depression)

Learn more about the MINDS Foundation

The Icahn School of Medicine assists HaitiChildren with addressing child mental health needs at the organizations’ flagship orphanage, schools associated with the organization, and other communities.

The program is currently:

  • Implementing programming to help the orphanage and school staff meet the mental health needs of their residents while promoting their own professional development and satisfaction, including on-site consultation and training and long-distance supervision
  • Developing a peer leadership program based on rural psychiatry models for residents and students to improve self-care
  • Integrating mental health services into the medical care HaitiChildren provides to the Williamson community beyond the orphanage
  • Helping to conduct research in support of a new Abandoned Baby and Child Unit in Port-au-Prince

HaitiChildren is staffed by child psychiatry fellows and triple board residents as well as medical and public health student researchers. Learn more about HaitiChildren

Following a Needs Assessment requested of the Ministry of Health. Future plans include assistance with education of staff at their psychiatric hospital, development of community mental health services including integration of psychotherapy into their largely biologically based approach to mental illness, and introduction of child psychiatry specific services.

The program is currently conducting an assessment of mental health needs, policies, and services in the region surrounding Jarabacoa at the request of the hospital.  This information will be used to develop collaborative grant applications for establishing comprehensive mental health services in the region.

The program is currently:

  • Partnering with pro bono immigration attorneys to provide psychiatric evaluations to immigrant women and families detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center operated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Conducting research in order ensure that the legal services are trauma informed

Learn more about Dilley Pro Bono

Residents in the global mental health track spend approximately one Saturday per month collaborating in this student-run primary care setting on evaluation and treatment of clinical depression and related conditions. Work at EHHOP ensures that the residents’ work is truly global.

Learn more about EHHOP