Global Mental Health

Mental health disorders represent a largely hidden but substantial proportion of the world's disease burden. These conditions are often neglected, especially in low- and middle-income countries, which have limited resources to tackle mental health challenges. Projections of the global burden of disease place depression as the second leading cause of disability-adjusted life years by 2020, and the incidences of post-traumatic stress disorders and other stress-related illnesses resulting from conflict and natural disasters are on the rise (WHO 2009).

Duke has a number of faculty working in global mental health. DGHI collaborates with the departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Psychology and Neuroscience, the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research, and the department of Cultural Anthropology.

Receive Announcements

This list is for anyone interested in global mental health research or education. Announcements related to speakers and talks, courses, publications and funding will be shared periodically.
Subscribe to the List

Pilot Grants

The Global Mental Health (GMH) Initiative coordinates research collaboration among faculty, maximizes educational opportunities, sponsors a speaker series, and funds pilot studies on an annual basis.
Read more

Populations, Maternal and reproductive health, child and family health, aging populations, refugees, adults, approaches, prevention, intervention, instrument development, qualitative, ethnographic, epidemiological, randomized controlled trials, disorders, depression, trauma, substance use, severe mental illness, comorbid health conditions


Projects by Country

Faculty Projects

El Salvador
South Africa
Sri Lanka
United States
Show All Projects


Baumgartner JN, Parcesepe A, Mekuria YG, Abitew DB, Gebeyehu W, Okello F, Shattuck D.  Maternal mental health in Amhara Region, Ethiopia.  Global Health: Science and Practice 2014;2(4)482-486.

LeGrand S, Muessig KE, Pike EC, Baltierra N, Hightow-Weidman LB. If you build it will they come? Addressing social isolation within a technology-based HIV intervention for young black men who have sex with men. AIDS Care [in press].

Proeschold-Bell, R.J., Miles, A., Toth, M. Adams, C, Smith, B., & Toole, D. (2013). Using effort-reward imbalance theory to understand high rates of depression and anxiety among clergy. Journal of Primary Prevention, 34(6), 439-453, doi: 10.1007/s10935-013-0321-4.

Kohrt, Brandon A., Andrew Rasmussen, Bonnie N. Kaiser, Emily E. Haroz, Sujen M. Maharjan, Byamah B. Mutamba, Joop TVM de Jong, and Devon E. Hinton. Cultural concepts of distress and psychiatric disorders: literature review and research recommendations for global mental health epidemiology. International Journal of Epidemiology (2013): doi: 10.1093/ije/dyt227.

Franz L, Costello EJ, Copeland W, Towe-Goodman N, Angold A, Egger HL. Preschool anxiety disorders in pediatric primary care: prevalence and comorbidity. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2013; 52 (12): 1294-1303.

Ostbye T, Malhotra R, Malhotra C, Arambepola C, Chan A. Does support from foreign domestic workers decrease the negative impact of informal caregiving? Results from Singapore survey on informal caregiving. Journal  J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2013 Jul;68(4):609-21. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbt042.

MH Watt, KW Ranby, CS Meade, KJ Sikkema, JC MacFarlane, D Skinner, D Pieterse, SC Kalichman. (2012)  Post traumatic stress disorder symptoms mediate the relationship between traumatic experiences and drinking behavior among women attending alcohol-serving venues in a South African township. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 73(4): 549-58.

Puffer, E. S., Drabkin, A., Stashko, A., Broverman, S. A., Ogwang-Odhiambo, R., & Sikkema, K. J. (2012). Associations between orphan status, HIV risk behavior and mental health outcomes among adolescents in rural Kenya. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 37, 868-878. PMID: 22728899. PMCID: PMC3437686.

Reif SS, Pence BW, LeGrand S, Wilson ES, Swartz M, Ellington T, Whetten K (2012). In-home mental health treatment for individuals with HIV. AIDS Patient Care & STDs, 26(11), 655-661.

Meade, C.S., Watt, M.H., Sikkema, K.J., Deng, L.X., Skinner, D., Pieterse, D. & Kalichman, S.C. (2012). Methamphetamine use is associated with HIV risk among patrons of alcohol serving venues in Cape Town, South Africa. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 126, 232-9. PMCID: PMC3465508.

Sikkema, K.J., Watt, M.H., Meade, C.M., Ranby, K.W., Kalichman, S.C., Skinner, D., & Pieterse, D. Mental health and HIV sexual risk behavior among patrons of alcohol serving venues in Cape Town, South Africa. JAIDS. (2011);57:230-237. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182167e7a. PMCID: PMC3135683.

Wu, B. and Chi, I. and Plassman, B. L. and Guo, M. Depressive symptoms and health problems among Chinese immigrant elders in the US and Chinese elders in China. Aging Ment Health. August, 2010 14(6); 695-704.

Martin, S., Gibb, D., Johnson, R.,Sullivan, K., Clinton-Sherrod, M., Hardison Walters, J., & Rentz, D.(2010). Substance Use by Soldiers Who Abuse Their Spouses. Violence against Women,16(11), 1295-1310.

Walkup, JT, A Barlow, BC Mullany, WK Pan, N Goklish, R Hastings, B Cowboy, P Fields, EV Baker, K Speakman, G Ginsburg, R Reid (2009) Randomized controlled trial of a paraprofessional-delivered in-home intervention for young reservation-based, American Indian mothers. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, V48 (6): 591-601.

Maselko J., Patel, V. Why women attempt suicide: The contribution of socioeconomic adversity, physical ill-health and psychiatric disorder in a population based longitudinal study in India. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. (2008) 62:817-822.