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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

Global Mental Health Effectiveness Research Program


The goal of this program is to improve global mental health outcomes through novel interventions or service models that improve clinical benefit, practice and scalability. This program supports research that uses an experimental therapeutics approach to developing and testing interventions to prevent and treat mental illnesses in diverse populations living in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). For cognitive, behavioral and other psychosocial interventions, the goal of this empirically-grounded, mechanism-based approach is to demonstrate target engagement and identify dosing parameters (such as intensity, frequency, or duration) at which the intervention has the optimal effect on the target. Once target engagement is demonstrated, additional proof-of-concept research would then address whether the target’s intervention-induced changes are associated with the anticipated clinical benefit.

Areas of Emphasis:

  • Studies that develop, test, and optimize efficacy or effectiveness of preventive, diagnostic and treatment interventions for mental illnesses among children, youth, and adults living in LMICs.
  • Studies that investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness (such as cost utility analysis, cost-benefit analysis, budget-impact analysis) of interventions for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health disorders in LMICs.
  • Effectiveness research to develop and test the integration of mental health interventions into existing care for other chronic diseases including HIV.
  • Hybrid effectiveness-implementation studies.

See more information on NIMH’s support for clinical trials.


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