We are pleased to announce that CIDRZ has been given an award of a grant for a study “Evaluating Implementation Strategies to Scale-up Trans diagnostic Evidence-based Mental Health Care in Zambia”otherwise known as “Mental Health Capacity Building Trial (CBT).”
Mental Health CBT is an implementation science award from the National Institute of Mental Health at the United States National Institutes of Health (i.e., US government). This is a five year (2018 – 2023) project and whose Principal Investigator is Dr Izukanji Sikazwe with Dr Michael Vinikoor being the Co-Investigator.
During the life of the project, we will develop and test a technology-based training tool to increase capacity to provide mental health care in Zambia.
This is the first ever and largest project for CIDRZ in the field of mental health and will build on:
- CIDRZ knowledge of and experience working within the Zambian health system
- Track-record in training lay and professional health workers, and
- Capacity to conduct rigorous research.
The project team will focus on closing the gap in local Zambian expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviours, and thoughts. It focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions, and change destructive patterns of behaviour.
Zambian counselors who already provide a type of CBT called CETA (Common Elements Treatment Approach) will be trained to become expert trainers of CETA.
Mental health (which includes a broad array of conditions like trauma, anxiety, depression, and alcohol and drug abuse) is neglected in Zambia and expanding local capacity for treatment is a priority to improve the health and well-being of the Zambian people. Historically there have been inadequate local experts to train local counselors in evidence-based CBT techniques like CETA. If the pool of local expert trainers Is expanded, those experts can then train and supervise local counselors, which could help scale-up the capacity to tackle these problems within the health system.