Research in Global Mental Health

Psychiatry residents in the Global Mental Health Track have numerous opportunities for mentored research projects with immigrants and refugees around their focal areas of interest. In addition, our department has initiated a major commitment to mental health services research and professional training of mental health professionals in the Middle East.

Global Mental Health Initiative in the Middle East

The Global Mental Health Initiative in the Middle East is a mission for an academic consortium that joins the GW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the Division of Global Health at University of California, San Diego, and the University of San Diego family therapy graduate program. This consortium conducts research studies, consults to programs for mental health services delivery, and provides mental health training in Middle East countries from Gaza to Syria. Specific target populations are Syrian refugees, Palestinian populations of Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, and Lebanon, and the general Jordanian population. Long-term objectives include:

  • Building the capacity of the Jordan University for Science and Technology as a regional center of excellence in global mental health;
  • Providing clinical expertise in family-oriented mental health training in psychiatry
  • Providing research training for medical and mental health professionals in population and epidemiological studies
  • Developing family-oriented collaborative care models in mental health and primary care settings
  • Creating training opportunities for residents and graduate students from the United States
  • Developing effective strategies to counter stigma against mental health problems and treatments
  • Supporting programs of the Palestinian Medical Education Initiative (PMED)

The Palestinian Medical Education Initiative

The Palestinian Medical Education Initiative (PMED) is an international non-governmental organization based in West Bank Palestine and in the United States. The mission of PMED is to build mental health programs for more than 2.5 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank that can provide:

  • Clinical mental health services
  • Capacity-building training opportunities for students and practitioners
  • Leadership for advocacy and outreach
  • Research in mental health and public health

Institutional support and educational services for PMED are provided by the GW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences under the leadership of Michael Morse, M.D., M.P.A., Director of Global Community Mental Health.

In 2015, PMED was awarded funding from the German Regional Fund for the Middle East and North Africa (GIZ) to integrate mental health services into primary care settings in Gaza and West Bank and for parenting classes and other mental health initiatives in Ramallah.