National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), T37MD014218
7/11/19 - 11/30/23
Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg, PhD (Washington University); Fred M. Ssewamala, PhD (Washington University)
The proposed training program, entitled “Training LEADers to Accelerate Global Mental Health Disparities Research” (LEAD), will provide training in minority health and health disparities research, with a strong focus on global mental health disparities. LEAD is a 2-Phase Training Program designed for advanced predoctoral students and postdoctoral trainees from diverse backgrounds in the US, including groups underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research, interested in global mental health disparities research. Trainees will be recruited from Universities across the US and will be trained over an intensive 12- week program. Specifically, LEAD will capitalize on the rich resources for US local and global health disparities (including mental health) available at WU, to provide trainees with the skills and experiences needed to lead multi-disciplinary, collaborative research teams focused on health disparities research in low-resource communities. LEAD is guided by the following specific aims: 1: To recruit five cohorts of advanced MD and PhD students (7 per cohort) and postdoctoral fellows (1 per cohort) from underrepresented groups in the US committed to conducting health disparities research, with a specific focus on global mental health prevention, intervention, services and implementation research within resource constrained settings; 2: To provide a research training program which equips trainees with foundational global research skills and knowledge through experiential learning, mentoring, “hands-on” immersion in domestic and international mental health studies, individualized consultation, feedback, goal setting and monitoring and web-based support across time; 3: To advance research partnerships between US-universities, mentors and trainees interested in global mental health disparities with the Global South universities and trainees across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) focused on similar issues; and 4: To evaluate the short-term and longitudinal outcomes of LEAD training program. Specifically, Phase 1 will consist of 4 weeks at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri (WU) for targeted skills and knowledge-building didactic seminars plus field-based research experiences within the St. Louis community. Phase 2 will consist of 8 weeks in a selected global site in one of the eight sub-Saharan (SSA) countries with NIH funded research that meets a trainee’s research interest. Each year, one postdoctoral LEAD fellow will experience Phases 1 and 2 above and immediately transition into a 9-month fellowship at WU. Each trainee (predoctoral and postdoctoral) will be matched with one US-based and one SSA-based mentor, both of whom will provide technical, research-focused support, plus ongoing career development guidance and support. LEAD directly aligns with NIMHD’s goal of supporting research training activities in minority health and health disparities research for individuals from diverse backgrounds as well as cultivating and expanding the community of minority health and health disparities researchers and advocates.
Public Health Relevance
Training Leaders to Accelerate Global Mental Health Disparities Research” (LEAD) program is focused on global mental health disparities and is designed to train advanced pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral trainees from diverse backgrounds in the US, especially groups underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research. The program has a potential to ultimately provide a robust platform for the development, implementation and expansion of evidence-based culturally and contextually-congruent health interventions and services models addressing global mental health disparities and treatment gaps across the life cycle, especially in low resourced communities with pronounced health disparities. By producing a sustainable network of individuals from diverse backgrounds in key research institutions who are well trained in global mental health disparities research, LEAD will potentially contribute to the much needed shared lessons and efforts relevant to addressing global mental health disparities, and improving overall care for vulnerable populations in low resourced communities.