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Principal Investigators: Jonathan Wiegel (LSE) & Alexandra Hartman (UCL)

Purpose

Mental disorders are the leading cause of morbidity worldwide, and yet up to 90% of people with common and severe mental disorders in low-income countries receive no treatment. The gap between morbidity and care is greater still in humanitarian contexts. Although community-based non-specialist models of care have shown great promise in closing this gap, the evidence base is limited on several critical questions.

This study will first ask, what are the individual- and community-level effects of non-specialist psychosocial service delivery on mental health, social cohesion, and economic outcomes in remote, conflict-affected areas? Second, what modes of psychosocial service delivery are best suited to humanitarian contexts, given both the burden of disease and operational challenges of working in fragile contexts?

This study is a collaboration between Community Partners International (CPI), Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. It will evaluate different versions of CPI’s Mental Health & Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) programme, as well as a low-cost self-help group alternative, randomized on the village level in Kachin, Myanmar.

Alexandra Hartman

Co-Investigator (UCL)

We hope participants in the program will find themselves more resilient to the multifaceted challenges they face, and that the study will help fill the evidence gap about how best to provide psychosocial first aid in remote and conflict-affected settings

Women in Kachin State, Myanmar, participate in a focus group discussion on mental health and psychosocial support services conducted by researchers from Community Partners International. Credit: Community Partners International.

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