This is an application for a first renewal of the T32 Fellowship Program in Global Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (JHSPH). We are currently the only NIH-funded predoctoral program specifically focused on Global Mental Health and the only Global Mental Health postdoctoral program located in a school of public health. The global mental health training program is an important part of the Department of Mental Health academic program, with nearly a third of all doctoral applicants indicating an interest in global issues annually. Each year, an average of 3-5 competitive applicants to the Departments of International Health and Epidemiology, two other departments that participate in this training program, indicate an interest in mental and behavioral health issues from a cross-cultural and global perspective. In the initial funding years of this training program we have trained 11 T32 trainees including 6 predoctoral and 5 postdoctoral Fellows. In the initial years of this program, 73% of our predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees have been women, 33% of our predoctoral trainees have been from Under-Represented Minority (URM) ethnic groups, 20% of our postdoctoral trainees have had a disability and 40% of our postdoctoral trainees are new immigrants/green card holders which is a particularly relevant category for global mental health capacity building. All trainees with at least one year in the program have published multiple peer-reviewed papers. Trainees who have completed our postdoctoral fellowship have obtained 1 K award and 1 Gates Grand Challenges award. Three of our first four predoctoral trainees have obtained individual NRSA awards; two of our predoctoral trainees have completed their doctoral education and have obtained a postdoctoral fellowship and a scientist position at the American Psychiatric Association. We place major emphasis on career development. A personalized Individual Development Plan (IDP) is created with each trainee early in the course of the Fellowship. The Fellowship program includes individual mentoring along with field-based experiences in low- and middle- income countries. This renewal application proposes to increase the number of predoctoral training slots from 4 to 6 and maintain 2 postdoctoral slots to support expansion to a broader range of mental health problems, including Autism and Suicide, and more opportunities to work with highly vulnerable populations such as those affected by HIV. Over the next 5 years, we will increase our focus on prevention and early intervention research, integrating mental health services into other care systems, and add a focus on implementation science through research on sustaining mental health services. We will continue to emphasize professional development in grantsmanship and manuscript development, applied research with colleagues from diverse cultural and contextual backgrounds, and diversity of trainees. We have developed a strong plan for evaluation of the training process including short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term outcomes, including research productivity for fellows.
This T32 training program will facilitate the development of a diverse and highly trained workforce that will ultimately assume leadership roles related to global mental and behavioral research. This program will train researchers to conduct culturally and contextually approach research to address the global burden of mental problems and improve well-being for vulnerable populations in low-resource settings globally.
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