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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Center for Global Mental Health Research


The NIMH Center for Global Mental Health Research coordinates the Institute’s efforts to generate knowledge that will improve the lives of people living with or at risk for mental illnesses in low-resource settings worldwide. The Center’s focus on expanding research in low-resource settings is driven by the need to address the care for people with mental health need that is often inadequate, inaccessible, and of less than optimal quality. Attention to low-and middle-income countries reflects an understanding that the inclusion of diverse populations, communities, contexts, and researchers from across the globe, can accelerate and enrich scientific advancements while helping to reduce mental health disparities globally and domestically. As interconnections among nations and peoples increase through global population shifts, advanced communication technologies, and stronger economic interdependencies, an international perspective is essential. This perspective can help researchers shed new light on variations in the incidence, prevalence, root causes, and course of mental disorders worldwide, as well as gain a greater understanding of how these are influenced by disparities in the accessibility, quality, response to, and outcomes of mental health services. Addressing mental health challenges that are shared worldwide enriches the scientific enterprise overall, advances U.S. research, and helps to improve mental health care domestically and globally.

The Center for Global Mental Health Research supports the following activities:

  • Identifies trends and gaps in global mental health to guide priority-setting for research funding.
  • Stimulates and supports innovative, multidisciplinary research to fill scientific knowledge gaps while addressing locally relevant research questions in resource-poor settings, including studies on:
    • Genetic, developmental, biological, social, and environmental determinants of mental health and key targets and times for intervention;
    • Prevention of mental illnesses and delivery of early interventions;
    • Improvement in treatment quality, value, and effectiveness;
    • Effective integration of mental health services into existing chronic disease care and other service delivery platforms, such as HIV/AIDS, primary care, schools, justice systems, etc.; and,
    • Optimal implementation of sustainable, evidence-based mental health prevention and treatment services.
  • Coordinates activities within NIMH and across NIH on global mental health research.
  • Promotes strategies to increase attention to global mental health.
  • Serves as the liaison to other agencies in the federal government and external domestic and international stakeholders on research issues relevant to global mental health.
  • Develops a multidisciplinary global mental health research workforce through capacity-building, research infrastructure development, and research mentoring for groups under-represented in the mental health research enterprise, particularly those in low-and middle-income countries.


Leonardo Cubillos, M.D., M.P.H.
6001 Executive Blvd
Rockville, MD 20852