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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

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Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Partnership for Mental Health Capacity Building (SHARP)


Contact Principal Investigator: Brian Pence, Ph.D.
Principal Investigators: Mina Hosseinipour M.D., M.P.H., Jones Masiye, M.B.B.S, M.P.H.

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Project Overview

Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Partnership (SHARP) for Mental Health Capacity Building aims to make a critical contribution to closing the mental health treatment gap in sub-Saharan Africa.

SHARP represents a partnership of research, academic, non-profit organizations and Ministry of Health representatives in Malawi and Tanzania with an exceptional track record of impactful research and translation of research into practice. The overall objective of SHARP is to expand mental health treatment in the region through high-quality implementation science research; development of research and implementation capacity among governmental, academic, and non-governmental partners; and enhancement of dialogue between those partners.

Implementation Research Study

Impactful implementation science research is an important means to achieve SHARP’s objectives. Mainly operationalized through the Scale-up Study component, SHARP will look to conduct an implementation science research study that will compare two different implementation strategies to facilitate ongoing Ministry of Health efforts to scale up algorithm-based care for depression (ABCD), an evidence-based intervention for the delivery of antidepressant treatment within rapidly expanding non-communicable diseases clinics, as well as assessing clinic-related factors that will influence uptake. This scale-up study will also generate information on whether clinics with certain characteristics will require additional resources in order to achieve sufficient ABCD fidelity.

Research Capacity Building

SHARP will build capacity among researchers and policy makers in governmental and non-governmental organizations to conduct and interpret mental health-related implementation science research and translate its results to routine practice through a program of short courses, multifaceted platforms to facilitate dialogue between researchers and policymakers, opportunities for on-the-job training, awarding pilot grants to pairs of researchers and policymakers to carry out original researcher, and mentorship training.