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Current Year Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Innovations in global mental health: three new projects launched

October 14, 2014 (Toronto) –Three new international partnerships involving the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and local experts in Haiti, Peru and Kenya are aiming to bring effective, sustainable changes to alleviate mental health issues in low-resource settings.

In the three projects, funded by Grand Challenges Canada, researchers will introduce a culturally-adapted cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) to spiritual leaders, implement a recovery-oriented anti-stigma initiative for health care workers, and develop a toolkit to support psychosocial recovery in social businesses.

A blended approach to mental health care in Haiti

In Haiti, spiritual and religious leaders provide the bulk of mental health care support to Haitians in an informal capacity. This project, led by Akwatu Khenti, director of CAMH’s Office of Transformative Global Health and Martineau Guerrier of Haiti’s National Commission Against Drugs, aims to introduce an evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), adapted for francophone Caribbeans, to Haitian spiritual and religious leaders. The team aims to show that training spiritual leaders to deliver this form of therapy is acceptable, feasible and improves symptoms among clients. The CBT had been adapted previously through CAMH. 

Blended approach to mental health in Haiti

Reducing stigma and promoting recovery-oriented practices in Peru

Health care providers’ stigmatizing attitudes and discriminatory behaviour can affect the recovery of people with mental health and substance use problems. Building upon a CAMH anti-stigma pilot project that ran in Toronto, project leads Dr. Ines Bustamante from Cayetano Heredia University and researcher Dr. Jaime Sapag from CAMH’s Office of Transformative Global Health will introduce a multi-faceted, recovery-oriented intervention among primary health care providers in Lima, Peru. Once validated, it is anticipated that the intervention could be implemented in other settings in Peru and the region.

Community recovery and entrepreneurism in Kenya

Social businesses are commercially-viable businesses that create employment for marginalized groups, including people with serious mental illness. This project, Community REcovery Achieved Through Entrepreneurism (CREATE), aims to strengthen recovery by combining the idea of social businesses with focused psychosocial rehabilitation practices and peer supports. Along with Dr. Arlene MacDougall of Western University and Dr. David Ndetei of the Africa Mental Health Foundation, CAMH scientist Dr. Sean Kidd will be developing best practices for rehabilitation in the form of a low-cost tool-kit for use at social businesses by community health workers and people with serious mental illnesses.

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The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in its field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit

For further information:

Kate Richards
Media Relations
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
416 535 8501 x36015 


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