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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

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Scaling Up Mental Health Interventions in Latin America

Scaling Up Mental Health Interventions in Latin America


Contact Principal Investigator: Lisa Marsch, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator: Carlos Gomez-Restrepo, M.D., M.Sc.

Hub Activity Sites

United States

Project Overview

Scaling Up Mental Health Interventions  in Latin America is a partnership to advance the use of mobile behavioral health technology for delivering mental health care and thereby reducing the mental health treatment gap in Colombia. The primary focus is on depression, with a secondary focus on problematic alcohol and other substance abuse. An implementation study is being conducted in Colombia. Research capacity-building activities are taking place in Colombia, Chile, and Peru.

Implementation Research Study

The implementation study is designed to assess the effectiveness of scaling up Square2 - a technology-enhanced service delivery model for treating comorbid depression and substance abuse in primary care. The team is refining and testing a service delivery model in multiple healthcare sites in urban and rural Colombia. Outcomes include implementation- and patient-level outcomes. The implementation outcomes are capacity to provide evidence-based mental health resources, acceptability of the model for healthcare service delivery, and impact on costs of care per individual. The patient-level outcomes are behavioral health, quality of life, and functioning.

Research Capacity Building

The capacity-building goals include training early-stage investigators in conducting implementation and ethnographic research; establishing and expanding a multi-institutional, multi-state, and multi-country learning collaborative to promote shared learning; transferring ownership of data tracking and outcomes reporting to the Colombia research site; co-creating publications and presentations with project stakeholders; establishing an integrated data management system as an infrastructure for use among Latin American stakeholders; expanding internet connectivity; and collaborating with researchers on the NIMH-supported Latin-MH Collaborative Hub.

Project website: Proyecto DIADA