Miami University, OH

Executive Summary

A training module for culturally competent and evidence-based mental health care in diverse societies

Mental health problems are among the leading cause of disability and death worldwide, and the shortage of adequately trained professionals limits our ability to effectively meet the rising mental health needs. The recently updated mental health policy by the government of India (Ministry of Health and Welfare, 2014) calls for curricula that focus on evidence-based training and incorporate the local cultural elements, which is critical in diverse societies such as India and USA. This is consistent with the guidelines on multicultural education and training of psychologists by the American Psychological Association (APA, 2002). To address this need, psychology faculty from Christ University in India, and Miami University in USA will collaborate to develop a post graduate training model in culturally competent, evidence-based (CCEB) mental health care in both countries. In particular, we propose the following five broad objectives:

i) Assess training needs of students, faculty, and community practitioners, and assess needs of those experiencing mental health difficulties and their families for culturally sensitive care

ii) Develop a training model in CCEB mental health care based on information gathered from the needs assessment (Objective I), and revise/expand postgraduate curriculum at both institutions to meet specific CCEB competencies

iii) Promote capacity building of junior and senior faculty at Christ U and Miami through exchange visits, workshops, and peer-mentoring groups in the CCEB training model

iv) Promote capacity building of mental health practitioners “on the ground” through designing and offering onsite and online CCEB certificate programs

v) Develop a resource center that provides consultations to other postgraduate training programs, helps to raise awareness regarding mental health in the community, and provides policy recommendations to national and international bodies