Projects & collaborations





Families First. Positive Discipline for Everyday Parenting with Home Visiting Programme: A Cluster Randomized Control Trial

Lead: Monica Ruiz-Casares (McGill University)

Countries: Indonesia

Partners: McGill University, Save the Children (UK and Indonesia), and SMERU Research Institute (Indonesia)

The Families First Program is parenting support program anchored on children’s rights that gives parents guidance on child development, parenting, and positive discipline practices. This mixed-methods study includes a randomized controlled trial and qualitative research methods to assess the effectiveness of the Families First parenting program in reducing the frequency of physical and emotional punishment compared to a waitlist control group. The study also measures program satisfaction and identifies facilitators and barriers to its implementation. Twenty villages in Cianjur District, Indonesia, involving 720 caregivers of children aged 0-7 years of age, are randomized to receiving either a parenting program or standard community health and social services.

Funder: Children & Violence Evaluation Challenge Fund (European Network of Foundations) and Save the Children-UK


Subjective Wellbeing Among Children in Namibia

Countries: Namibia

Lead:Mónica Ruiz-Casares (PI), McGill, Shelene Gentz(Co-PI), (UNAM), Kabwebwe Honoré Mitonga (UNAM)

Partners: McGill University, University of Namibia, and International ISCWeB Team

This study explores children’s lives and their well-being in Namibia from a child-centred perspective. The study is part of the third wave of the Children’s Worlds, the International Survey of Children’s Well-Being (ISCWeB), a worldwide research survey on children’s subjective well-being. A representative sample of 2500 school-going children aged 10 and 12 years in Khomas region are surveyed on psychosocial, cognitive and affective dimensions of childhood life. The study assesses satisfaction with the different institutions and spaces that shape childhood (school, parental home or family, leisure time and friendships, as well as geographical location along with the children’s life satisfaction in general and their aspirations. Access to material goods, health, children’s time use and children’s perceptions of their own rights are also assessed.

Funder: The Jacobs Foundation and Fonds de Recherche du Québec

Proyecto CONACyT - Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases GACD

Countries: Mexico

Contact: Samuel Veissiere (McGill)

Partners: University of Morelos (UAEM), Compañeros en Salud, Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica, McGill University

Research on mental health of indigenous adolescents in Chiapas Mexico


Reducing Mental Illness Stigma in Latin America: Dissemination and Planning (2018-2019)

Countries: Canada, Chile, Mexico

Lead: Rob Whitley (McGill)

Our project involves close collaboration with experts in mental illness stigma in Mexico and Chile. We will work together to systematically document existing locally-grounded anti-stigma interventions in Latin America (with a particular emphasis on Chile and Mexico). We will then endeavour to collaboratively create a culturally-appropriate action-research study aiming to reduce mental illness stigma in study locations. Precise details will emerge after literature review and brainstorming.

Funder: CIHR

Collaboration: McGill, National Autonomous University of Mexico, University of Conception (Chile)


Integrating Ethnography and Neuroscience in Global Mental Health Research. The FPR-UCLA-McGill Program in Cultural Psychiatry

Countries: Canada, Nepal, Singapore

Lead: Laurence Kirmayer (McGill), Douglas Hollan (UCLA), Eran Zaidel (UCLA)

The goal of the FPR-UCLA-McGill Program in Cultural Psychiatry is to investigate the interactions of cultural, social and neurobiological processes in the course and treatment of common mental disorders. The program brings together a highly interdisciplinary group of researchers with expertise in cultural psychiatry, medical and psychological anthropology, social, cultural and clinical psychology, and social cognitive neuroscience to pursue basic conceptual and clinical questions in psychiatry. The team will also address basic questions of cross-cultural applicability raised by current efforts to export Western practices in global mental health.

Funder: Foundation for Psychocultural Research

Collaboration: FPR – UCLA - McGill


Early Psychosis in India and Canada: Investigating outcomes and family factors (2011-2018)

Location: Chenna (India), Montreal (Canada)

Team: Ashok Malla, Srividya Iyer, Ridha Joober, Norbert Schmitz, at McGill University; Thara Rangaswamy, Padmavati Ramachandran, at the Schizophrenia Research Foundation in Chennai, India; Valerie Taylor, at the University of Toronto

Funder: National Institutes of Health, USA

Our project involves collaboration between two teams with complementary strengths in culturally relevant schizophrenia research in India and Canada. Key objectives are to investigate differences in a range of outcome domains and family factors. Our premise is that the better outcomes of psychosis in India can be largely explained by the comparatively higher levels of family support available.

An innovative, low-cost model for improving mental health in rural Kashmir, India (2013-2016)

Location: Ganderbal district state of Jammu and  Kashmir (India)

Team: Ashok Malla, Srividya Iyer, Ridha Joober, Marc Laporta, at McGill University; Shalini Lal, at University of Montreal; and Mushtaq Margoob at the SAWAB Centre, Kashmir

Funder: Grand Challenges Canada (funding completed; results being written for dissemination)

Our project sought to provide basic mental healthcare services using an innovative, low-cost model in parts of the Ganderbal district within the conflict-ridden Kashmir valley of northern India. We worked with pre-existing resources in the region, train lay-health workers and use technology to provide mental health services to youth between the ages 14 and 35.


The Mental Health of Internally Displaced Youth in the State of Jammu and Kashmir (2017-2018)

Location: Jagti Township, state of Jammu & Kashmir, India

Team: Jai Shah, Jaswant Guzder, Ashok Malla, Srividya Iyer at McGill; Jitendriya Koul, Kuldip Kaul, and Rakesh Banal at the Government Medical College, Jammu

Funder: Steinberg Fund for Interdisciplinary Global Health Research

We seek to understand and address the largely unmet mental health needs of a population of young people who were internally displaced from Jammu, due to violence in the region. In order to achieve these goals, we will use an array of community-based case identification approaches, conduct focus groups, train lay health-workers, and develop partnerships with local clinics and hospitals.

Warwick India Canada Psychosis Research Group (2017-2021)

Location: New Delhi & Chennai, India; Montreal, Canada; Coventry, UK

Team: Srividya Iyer and Jai Shah at McGill; Swaran Singh (Key lead), Max Birchwood, Jason Madan, Graeme Currie, Vivek Furtado, Caroline Meyer, Richard Lilford at University of Warwick; Thara Rangaswamy, Padmavati Ramachandran, at the Schizophrenia Research Foundation in Chennai, India; Rakesh Chadda and Mamta Sood at All India Institute Of Medical Science Delhi, India

Funder:  National Institutes for Health Research (UK)

Our aim is to develop and evaluate sustainable evidence-informed interventions for poorly-served individuals with psychotic disorders in India. We work to understand pathways of care and to develop early detection strategies and community care models. We are also building capacity to provide quality research by providing a strong multidisciplinary research and training program and by gathering quality data.

The Montreal WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre: Striving to improve access to mental health care around the world

Locations: Caribbean (Belize & Domenica), Canada, Kashmir (India), Haiti, Vietnam, among others

Lead: Dr. Marc Laporta

The Montreal WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre plays an advisory, scientific and educational role. It has three main goals: 1) Participate in the design and implementation of general mental health programs based on WHO and PAHO orientations, 2) Use relevant findings of scientists at the Douglas Institute to create effective measuring instruments, 3) Train candidates from around the world in psychopharmacology, psychosocial rehabilitation, child psychiatry, community development, research methodology, policy creation, drug addiction treatment and prevention.


Listening to One Another to Grow Strong: Culturally-Based, Family Centered Mental Health Promotion for Indigenous Youth

Location: Canada

Listening to One Another develops a collaborative, culturally based approach to improving the mental health and well-being of youth living in Indigenous communities across Canada. The program is designed to enhance psychological, social, and emotional well-being among Indigenous youth, their families and communities. It brings together community partners from across Canada with mental health researchers at several universities.

Funding: Public Health Agency of Canada


The resettlement and integration of war-affected children and youth living in Canada

Location: Sierra Leone, Uganda, Colombia

Lead: Myriam Denov

Research with children and youth in adversity, and international child protection, with an emphasis on war and political violence, children in armed conflict, and gender-based violence. The goal is not only to uncover the long-term impacts of war on children and their families, but to provide a solid, pragmatic knowledge base for meeting their complex needs both during and after war. This research will help local communities, governments, non-governmental organizations and the United Nations to take concrete action when it comes to war-affected children and families, and will influence future policy and programming at the local, national and international levels.  


Global knowledge infrastructures: An ethnographic study of the emergence of Global Mental Health.

Location: London (UK), Cape Town (South Africa), Geneva (WHO), North America

Lead: Dörte Bemme (PhD project)

A multi-sited ethnography within the institutional assemblage of Global Mental Health on how their novel infrastructures, discourses and practices re-configure mental health into a global object of care. The project maps out the difference between international and global efforts in mental health care highlighting four conceptual shifts: 1) the importance of disability as framework for mental health, 2) a focus on novel pathways of delivery, 3) the emphasis on the economic cost of mental illness, and 4) and the procedural logics of evidence.



Everyday violence and the politics of childhood among inner-city children in Kingston, Jamaica

Location: Jamaica

Lead: Nicole D'souza (Phd project)


The project seeks to understand the relationship between violence and mental health outcomes for at-risk, inner city primary school children living in Kingston, Jamaica who are exposed to daily forms of violence. Through participatory ethnographic research, the describes how children living in marginalized inner-city communities negotiate their daily lives and tensions in a social context characterized by high levels of interpersonal conflict, violent crimes, and turf wars.

Collaborators: Dream a World Project Project CARIMENSA, University of West Indies


Expanding care for perinatal women with depression (EXPONATE)

Location: Nigeria

Lead: Oye Gureje

Collaboration with investigators in Nigeria to develop stepped-care approach to perinatal depression. The main aim of the study is to determine whether a structured intervention package delivered by midwives in routine perinatal care is better than care as usual in improving the outcome of perinatal depression both for the mothers and their infants and whether the intervention is cost-effective.

Funder: Grand Challenges Canada






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