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.

african countrysideCapacity Building

Our work seeks to strengthen quality mental health clinical, research and training capacity for the global community. Our focus is long-term commitments that develop sustainable systems. Below are a few examples of current projects.

Liberia Center of Excellence in Psychiatry/Mental Health:

This academic partnership with the University of Liberia seeks to develop in-country mental health professionals, and provide bi-directional research and training opportunities for MGH/Harvard psychiatry faculty and trainees. The goals are to increase local capacity and leadership for mental health, neurological and psychiatric care, and to identify innovative models of treatment and training in resource-limited settings.

The Center of Excellence in Psychiatry/Mental Health in Liberia includes the following components:

  • Clinical training at affiliated academic medical centers in Liberia and in Boston.
  • A Psychiatry Residency Training Program that includes research, public health and neurology components.
  • A psychology doctorate and masters-level social work programs at the University of Liberia.
  • Continuing health education programs for health providers.
  • A research and research training program in collaboration with MGH/Harvard faculty.
  • A University-wide grants office.

Download "A New Solution for Mental Health in Liberia"

Uganda Mental Health Research Training Program:

The goal of this program – a collaboration between MGH/Harvard Medical School faculty, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), the MGH Center for Global Health, and psychiatry experts in Uganda – is to strengthen mental health research infrastructure and research capacity at MUST. A coordinated approach of training and mentorship to support the career development of junior faculty and trainees at MUST, while simultaneously growing the research program at the University, will build human resource capacity for cutting-edge clinical research in the global south and help the University retain its talented clinicians as they build their research careers at the institution. This program will provide dual mentorship to Ugandan graduates pursuing a Master of Medicine (MMed) in psychiatry at MUST, and research and grants training to support staff at the institution. The program will build on existing collaborative programs between MGH and MUST (

Lebanon Alzheimer Disease Capacity Building Program:

The Capacity Building program in Alzheimer Disease (AD) is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association Lebanon (AAL) in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs and promoted by H.E. Mr. Selim El Sayegh. Zeina El-Chemali, MD, MPH, a neuro-psychiatrist at Mass. General Hospital and Harvard faculty developed this effort to accomplish the following:

  • To provide country-wide training in Alzheimer’s disease best practices.
  • To heighten community awareness in dementia and elderly health and wellbeing.
  • To improve knowledge and procedural skills of diverse professionals in the field.
  • To provide the Ministry of Social Affairs Community Development Centers with AD toolkits and education.
  • To initiate and support the establishment of Alzheimer’s chapters throughout the Lebanese territory.
  • To empower trainees to deliver excellence in AD care.

The Global Mental Health Trauma and Recovery Certificate Training Program

through the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) in the Department of Psychiatry at MGH is an innovative training program offering a state-of-the-art cultural and scientific learning experience addressing the needs of traumatized persons and communities worldwide. Experts advance their practice and leadership skills in a new global community of practice. The course offers a blended learning experience with 2 weeks onsite in Italy followed by 6 months on the internet. The program is lead by internationally acclaimed faculty. Certificates of completion are awarded by the Instituto Superiore di Sanita, Italy, HPRT and the Harvard Division of Continuing Medical Education. Click here to learn more.

Click here to read more about past projects in Bosnia, Cambodia and Peru.