Global Is Local: Leveraging Global Mental-Health Methods to Promote Equity and Address Disparities in the United States
Structural barriers perpetuate mental-health disparities for minoritized U.S. populations; global mental health (GMH) takes an interdisciplinary approach to increasing mental-health-care access and relevance. Mutual capacity-building partnerships between low- and middle-income countries and high-income countries are beginning to use GMH strategies to address disparities across contexts. We highlight these partnerships and share GMH strategies through a case series of said partnerships between Kenya and North Carolina, South Africa and Maryland, and Mozambique and New York. We analyzed case materials and narrative descriptions using document review. Shared strategies across cases included qualitative formative work and partnership building; selecting and adapting evidence-based interventions; prioritizing accessible, feasible delivery; task sharing; tailoring training and supervision; and mixed-method, hybrid designs. Bidirectional learning between partners improved the use of strategies in both settings. Integrating GMH strategies into clinical science—and facilitating learning across settings—can improve efforts to expand care in ways that consider culture, context, and systems in low-resource settings.