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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

Center for Global Mental Health Research


The Center for Global Mental Health Research coordinates the National Institute of Mental Health's (NIMH) efforts to generate knowledge that will improve the lives of people living with or placed at risk for mental illnesses in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The Center’s focus on expanding science in LMICs is driven by the need to inform the improvement of culturally appropriate and equitable access, availability, affordability, and quality of preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative evidence-based mental health services.

Focusing on LMICs is important because including diverse populations, communities, contexts, geographical regions, researchers, and technologies across the globe can accelerate and enrich scientific advancements while helping to address challenges both globally and domestically. 

A major research focus of the Center is to contribute to the long-term goal of strengthening the sustainable research capacity in LMICs and to enhance the potential for research advancements and multidirectional knowledge exchange. 

The Center acknowledges the importance of experimental and non-experimental research approaches, including research leveraging a wide range of disciplines such as epidemiology, data science, implementation science, health economics, and political science. Digital, innovative, and emerging technologies or tools are also critical to support mental health advancements in LMICs. 

In order to achieve the goal of sustainable implementation, the Center supports research activities to fill knowledge gaps and address locally-relevant research questions focused on: 

  • Biological, psychological, social, and environmental determinants of mental health and critical targets, interventions, and timing of interventions 
  • Planning, adapting, designing, testing, and evaluating evidence-based mental health services and interventions to prevent, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate following mental illness, and developing and testing strategies to facilitate their uptake and scale up 
  • Planning, designing, testing, and evaluating demand-side or supply-side interventions to increase:
    • Accessibility and quality of mental health services;
    • Availability of mental health services, including but not limited to integration of services, funding arrangements, or payment mechanisms;
    • Affordability of mental health services to patients, families, and health systems.

In addition, the Center for Global Mental Health Research is responsible for: 

  • Identification of trends and gaps to guide priority-setting for global mental health research funding within NIMH; 
  • Coordination of activities within NIMH and across NIH on global mental health.
  • Promotion of strategies to increase attention to global mental health.
  • Serving as the liaison to other federal agencies and external domestic and international stakeholders on research issues relevant to global mental health.
  • Developing a multidisciplinary global mental health research workforce through research capacity-building, infrastructure development, and mentoring under-represented groups in the mental health research enterprise, particularly those located in LMICs. 


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