Global Psychiatry

A major goal of the Division is to develop global mental health sciences leadership in the US and abroad. As communicable diseases are supplanted by non-communicable, chronic, and neuropsychiatric diseases, the academic medicine workforce must be realigned with the emerging health priorities for the new century.

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The Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health Initiative

The Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health Initiative, led by the National Institutes of Health and the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases, has identified the top 40 barriers to better mental health around the world. Similar to past grand challenges, which focused on infectious diseases and chronic, noncommunicable diseases, this initiative seeks to build a community of funders dedicated to supporting research that will significantly improve the lives of people living with MNS disorders within the next 10 years.

Twenty-five of the specific challenges and the process used to derive them are described in an article published on July 7, 2011, in the journal Nature. Please visit or to view the article and the supplementary materials.


Drs. Henderson, Fricchione and Herman discuss Mental Health in Post-Conflict Countries on the Pat Lawrence Show

July 28, 2011



Dr. Rocio Lopez Diego and Dr. Christina Borba discuss Mental Health in the Developing World on the Pat Lawrence Show

June 7, 2011
Belmont, Massachusetts



President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia delivers Harvard 2011 Commencement Address

May, 2011
Cambridge, Massachusetts



MGH Psychiatry Department and Hospital leadership travel to Liberia

April, 2011

Partners in Excellence Award presented to Division of Global Psychiatry

December, 2010
Boston, Massachusetts

Partners Healthcare Inc. presented the MGH Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry with an award in recognition of the group’s outstanding performance and commitment to Excellence.


Dr. Gary Gottlieb, CEO of Partners Healthcare and Dr. Peter Slavin, CEO of Massachusetts General Hospital, present the award to Drs. Christina Borba, Ms. Julia Carney and Dr. Gregory Fricchione.



The Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry faculty with Dr. Chester M. Pierce. Liberia Minister of Health gives keynote speech at MGH symposium

November 12, 2010
Boston, Massachusetts

MGH was honored to have Dr. Walter Gwenigale, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Liberia, as a speaker for the Center for Global Health’s Inaugural Symposium, “Broadening the Response: the Role of Academic Medicine in Global Health.” The day-long event drew global health leaders from around the world as well as prominent U.S. officials including Senator John F. Kerry and U.S. Ambassador and Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby. More than 1,000 people attended the conference.

Dr. Gwenigale’s experience promoting peace and reconciliation, building health systems which increase access to care and working towards poverty reduction provided powerful contributions to the discussion of global health. His presentation “Building Sustainable Partnerships: Liberia Experience” outlined the challenges of reviving a shattered health system in Liberia after 14 years of devastating war, and the importance of developing sustainable local capacity and Liberian expertise. He also detailed why he included mental health as one of the country’s six health priority areas. Dr. Gwenigale is one of the only health leaders of a conflict-affected nation to incorporate mental health as part of a basic health package.

Dr. Gwenigale’s relationship with MGH began two years ago when under his leadership, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia awarded a technical grant to Dr. David Henderson of MGH/Harvard to develop the country’s first National Mental Health Policy. The policy was adopted in December, 2009. Dr. Gwenigale continues to support Dr. Henderson and his team’s efforts to build Liberian clinical and research expertise in psychiatry, neurology and public mental health through a partnership with the University of Liberia/A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine.

Dr. Chester M. Pierce portrait unveiled at Harvard University

November 15, 2010
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Dozens of Harvard University officials, alums and students, and prominent medical and other professionals gathered to celebrate the unveiling of the portrait of Dr. Chester M. Pierce, MD, one of Harvard’s most distinguished graduates and a founder of the Division of Global Psychiatry at MGH. Dr. Pierce graduated Harvard College in 1948 (where he was Class Marshall) and Harvard Medical School in 1952. He served on the Faculties of Harvard Medical School, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Harvard School of Public Health during his 41 years as a professor at the University.

Dr. Pierce was one of the first African-American college students to play a football game at an all-white Southern university; he is depicted in his portrait wearing a red-striped varsity football tie while delivering a lecture in the Ether Dome at Mass. General Hospital, the largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Pierce was part of the MGH Department of Psychiatry for most of his career.

Dr. Pierce is revered by his many students of all backgrounds and ethnic groups as a brilliant, scholarly, kind and humble professor who brought great dignity and honor to his profession and the Harvard community. His portrait hangs in the Junior Common Room of Lowell House, his residence hall while a student at Harvard College.

APA honors Dr. Richard Mollica with Kun-Po Soo Award

December 6, 2010

The APA awarded Dr. Richard Mollica, MD MAR, a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, the APA Kun-Po Soo Award, which recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions toward understanding the impact and import of Asian cultural heritage in areas relevant to psychiatry. Dr. Mollica delivered the award lecture, titled, “Song of Three Worlds: The Contribution of Asian Societies to the New Field of Global Mental Health” at the 62nd Institute on Psychiatric Services symposium in Boston.

Dr. Mollica is a pioneer in the mental health care of survivors of mass violence and torture. Under Dr. Mollica's direction, HPRT conducts training, policy and research activities for traumatized populations around the world. HPRT's screening instruments are considered a gold standard in the field and have been widely translated into over thirty languages. HPRT's scientific work has helped place mental health issues at the center of the recovery of post-conflict societies.

Dr. Mollica has received numerous awards including the human rights award from the APA, the Max Hyman Award from the American Orthopsychiatry Association and a Fulbright New Century scholar award. He has published more than 160 scientific articles.

Dr. Chester M. Pierce recognized for pioneering accomplishments on the field and in the classroom

October 7, 2010
Boston, Massachusetts


Malaysian award recognizes MGH and Dr. Chester M. Pierce

May 14, 2010
Boston, Massachusetts

Click here to download Malaysia award news story















Malaysian physician details month-long experience at MGH in country’s leading newspaper

March 6, 2010
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Dr. Richard Mollica provides perspective in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake

March 1, 2010
Boston, MA


The following are websites with useful information:

Education and Resources:

The Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry:

Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma:

The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health:

National Institute of Mental Health:

National Institute of Mental Health Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health:

Movement for Global Mental Health: