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Implementation Science in Global Mental Health

About the Presentation: The Applied Mental Health Group (AMHR) at Johns Hopkins has been working in global mental health for over 20 years. They have been a leader of developing, improving, implementing, evaluating and disseminating mental health and psychosocial services in low resource settings.  There have been multiple trials now in lower resource settings of evidence-based mental health treatments – yet a significant treatment gap remains.  In this presentation, Drs. Murray and Haroz will briefly review the current stage of global mental health and highlight some recent advances.  They will then discuss current projects, specifically around implementation research in low resource settings wherein they are trying to answer questions around improved implementation, scale up and sustainability.  The talk will conclude with ideas of future directions and an open discussion.

About the Presenters: 

Laura K. Murray, PhD
Dr. Laura Murray is an Associate Scientist at Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health in the Department of Mental Health and International Health; a clinical psychologist by training. She is a co-founder of the Applied Mental Health Research group, which has developed and refined a Design, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation (DIME) methodology for use with mental and behavioral health initiatives in low-resource countries. Dr. Murray has extensive expertise in a wide range of evidence-based treatments for mental and behavioral problems. She has conducted research in a wide range of countries ranging from qualitatively understanding mental health, to full randomized trials of treatments. She was PI and completed a USAID DCOF-funded randomized controlled trial of Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) with orphans and vulnerable children exposed to traumatic events. Dr. Murray is PI on a NICHD R01 to conduct a randomized controlled trial of a mental health intervention (TF-CBT) and psychosocial counseling for OVC in Zambia, with a primary outcome of HIV risk behaviors. Dr. Murray is co-developer of the CETA approach and was a co-Investigator in both of the completed trials with adults – in Iraq and Thailand. She is currently leading a trial of CETA in Zambia. One of Dr. Murray’s primary research objectives is to examine the dissemination and implementation (D&I) processes of mental health treatments in low-resource countries, examining feasibility, acceptability, fidelity and sustainability.

Emily Haroz, PhD
Dr. Haroz is an Assistant Scientist in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a member of the Applied Mental Health Research (AMHR) group. Her research focuses on mental health services for low-resource and underserved populations both globally and domestically. Dr. Haroz specializes in Global Mental Health and American Indian Health behavioral and mental health services research through her joint appointments with Center for Humanitarian Health and the Center for American Indian Health. Dr. Haroz’s training is in psychiatric epidemiology, including a background in advanced measurement models using structural equation modeling and Item Response Theory approaches. She has a strong interest in implementation science, with a specific focus on the sustainability of mental health service programs in low resource contexts. Underlying Dr. Haroz’s research is a focus on applying innovative and rigorous mixed-methods, including systems science approaches, agent based modeling, and quasi-experimental designs to better understand how to implement, scale-up and sustain evidence-based mental health care programs.