Global Mental Health (GMH) Concentration

Increasing attention, worldwide, has focused on the treatment gap—the mental health inequities between low-income and high-income countries, and among vulnerable populations within wealthy nations: indigenous people, refugees and the urban poor. The emerging field of global mental health seeks to improve professional practices and research, advocacy and awareness, policies and programs, and social and environmental factors that affect health and psychosocial well-being. The goals of the Global Mental Health concentration (GMH) are to train graduate students in clinical, counseling, school and organizational psychology, and to prepare them to provide culturally sensitive and evidence based approaches that emphasize the social determinants of mental health, local needs and priorities, and culturally informed community capacity building.

Academic Concentrations 

Global Mental Health is offered as a concentration in the following academic programs: 

Program Overview

The GMH concentration is designed to raise students’ knowledge and awareness of the ways in which mental health inequalities are historically and socially produced, and their understanding of how poverty, racism and social exclusion exert powerful influences on the emotional and social well-being of individuals, families, and communities. The disciplinary challenges in applying Western psychological categories, concepts and interventions globally are addressed, with an emphasis on understanding that local concepts of mental illness, and the related health care-seeking behavior are essential for the development of effective mental health interventions and program development locally and globally.

Concentration courses will expose students to the interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral approaches to global mental health initiatives, research, program development and program evaluation. Through coursework and experiential activities, students will be introduced to cultural idioms of distress, to cultural responses to suffering and healing, and to culturally sensitive conceptualizations of trauma and resilience. Students will learn to identify and differentiate the characteristics and needs of specific vulnerable populations: immigrants, refugees, victims of torture, post-conflict populations, and to provide appropriate social emotional support at the individual, systemic and programmatic level.

Additionally, service learning programs and cultural immersion experiences in international settings such as Haiti, Kenya, Guyana, and Ecuador will enhance students’ sensitivity to diversity and difference; promote learning and sharing of cross-cultural experiences; enhance students’ competence in building relationships with diverse populations; increase students’ awareness of ethics and standards appropriate to professional practice with culturally diverse populations; and expand students’ global perspectives of psychological theories and their application to culturally diverse groups. Opportunities for local immersion experiences that do not require students to travel internationally are also available to fulfill the concentration requirements.    

Enrollment Process

The GMH concentration is open to all William James College students across programs and departments who have a strong interest in serving historically marginalized populations, particularly refugees, immigrants, post-conflict populations and victims of torture. Two levels of involvement are offered: Major Area of Study and Area of Emphasis. To enroll, students should download and complete the Concentration Declaration Form from the Registrar’s Office webpage, and submit it by the deadline (usually November 1st, though the date is subject to change). The Concentration Declaration Form must first be reviewed and signed by the student’s advisor. Students will apply in the fall semester of their first year and begin courses during the second semester of their first year.

Coursework
Major Area of Study (9 credits)
CLI AC610 - Introduction to Global Mental Health (credits: 2) 
CLI AC600 - Mental Health Disparities: Multicultural & Global Perspectives (credits: 2) 
CLI AC710 - Fundamentals of Global Mental Health (credits: 2) 
CLI AC800 - Global Mental Health: Assessment & Treatment (credits: 2) 
One of the following courses: Please note: Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Psychology MA/CAGS students in the GMH concentration will graduate with 5 extra credits. Submission of the concentration declaration form guarantees financial aid for all credits.

Area of Emphasis (5 credits)
CLI AC610 - Introduction to Global Mental Health (credits: 2) 
One of the following courses: One of the following courses:
Recommended Sequence
Year One: Fall Semester
  • Complete and submit a Concentration Declaration Form by October 15.
  • General Practicum Site (Option: 25% or more of clinical work with immigrant or refugee individuals or groups)
Year One: Spring Semester
  • CLI AC610 - Introduction to Global Mental Health (credits: 2)
  • General Practicum Site (Option: 25% or more of clinical work with immigrant or refugee individuals or groups)
  • Continuing Education (CE) Event (e.g., Global Mental Health Conference)
Year One: Summer Sessions I and II Year Two: Fall Semester Year Two: Spring Semester Year Two: Summer Sessions I and II
  • Service Learning and Cultural Immersion Programs in Haiti, Kenya, Guyana or Ecuador (credits: 1)
  • OR Domestic Immersion Option
Year Three: Summer Session Year Four: Fall and Spring Semesters
  • Advanced Practicum Site (Option: 25% or more of clinical work with immigrant or refugee individuals or groups)
  • Doctoral Project in an area relevant to ACMH (i.e., DP3 and DP4)
Year Five: Fall and Spring Semesters
  • APA Internship (Option: 25% or more of clinical work with immigrant or refugee individuals or groups)
Field Placement

GMH Field Placement

Students enrolled in the GMH concentration need to complete a minimum of 25% of direct clinical experience with immigrant or refugee individuals, families or groups by the date of their graduation or prior to Year 5/APA internship. A list of sites approved by the concentration director can be accessed via SSIG.

Doctoral Project

Doctoral-level students who are completing a Major Area of Study in the GMH concentration will be required to complete a doctoral project on topics germane to GMH. It is recommended that at least one of their doctoral project committee members be a Multicultural and Global Mental Health Center faculty or a professional with substantial experience or expertise in the field. 

Doctoral-level students who are completing an Area of Emphasis in the GMH concentration are encouraged to choose a doctoral project with a focus on the population of interest.

Additional Requirements

To support student’s professional growth and development, GMH concentration students must attend at least one Continuing Education (CE) event annually that is sponsored or approved by the Center for Multicultural & Global Mental Health. Students are also encouraged to attend a variety of activities (e.g., conferences, lectures, film series, social and cultural events) throughout the year that are organized by the Center for Multicultural & Global Mental Health.

Faculty
Claire Fialkov, PhD
David Haddad, EdD
Gemima St Louis, PhD
Jill Betz Bloom, PhD
Jodie Kliman, PsyD
Natalie A. Cort, PhD
Paola Michelle Contreras, PsyD
Richard F. Mollica, MD, MAR
Stanley J. Berman, PhD
FAQs

Q: What concentrations are offered through the Center for Multicultural & Global Mental Health (CMGMH)?

A: There are three CMGMH concentrations: African & Caribbean Mental Health, Global Mental Health, and the Latino Mental Health Program.


Q: Can I enroll in more than one concentration?

A: Yes! Many of the students in CMGMH concentrations are enrolled in more than one concentration. In addition, concentrations can be completed at one of two levels: “Major Area of Study” or “Emphasis”. 


Q: What’s the difference between a “Major Area of Study” and an “Emphasis”?

A: Students enrolled in a PsyD Program can complete a CMGMH concentration at the “Major Area of Study” level. This requires between 8-9 course credits, depending on the concentration. Students enrolled in a Master’s or PsyD Program can complete a CMGMH concentration at the “Emphasis” level. This requires between 4-5 course credits, depending on the concentration.


Q: Do I have to participate in an international immersion trip? I don't think I can spend that much time away from home. 

A: No, you do not have to participate in an international immersion trip. There are opportunities for local immersions that won't require you leaving home and will still fulfill the concentration requirements. 


Q: If I declare a CMGMH concentration, will I have to do my Doctoral Project on that topic?

A: Students who are completing a concentration as a Major Area of Study are required to do a doctoral project on a topic germane to their concentration. It is recommended that at least one of their doctoral project committee members be a CMGMH faculty or a professional with substantial experience or expertise in the field. Students who are completing an Emphasis are encouraged (but not required) to choose a doctoral project with a focus on the population of interest.


Q: How will a CMGMH concentration affect my field placement choices?

Students in a CMGMH concentration will complete their practicum or internship placements at clinical training sites that have been approved by the concentration directors. The list of approved training sites can be accessed via SSIG. Also, at least 25% of the training experience will be with culturally diverse clients or organizations that serve the population of interest. 


Q: Are there other requirements that I should know about?

A: To support students’ professional growth and development, CMGMH requires that all concentration students attend at least one Continuing Education (CE) event annually that is sponsored or approved by the Center for Multicultural & Global Mental Health.


Q: I saw that October 15, 2016 was the deadline to apply for a concentration. It is past the deadline but I still would like to declare a concentration. What do I do?

A: October 15th was the official deadline, but you may be able to declare a concentration up until registration for spring courses. There will be an additional opportunity to declare CMGMH concentrations in the spring. Contact the director of the concentration that you are interested in applying for to find out if you are still able to declare.


Q: What is the enrollment process?

A: CMGMH concentrations are open to all WJC students who have a strong interest in serving historically marginalized individuals, families and communities. To enroll, students should download and complete both the Concentration Application Form and the Concentration Declaration Form from the Registrar’s Office webpage, and submit it to the concentration director. The Concentration Declaration Form must first be reviewed by the student’s advisor. Students typically apply in the fall semester of their first year and begin courses during the second semester of their first year.


Q: I am interested in learning more about the international immersion programs. Who do I contact?

A: Students who are interested in the Ecuador immersion program should contact Dr. Mari Carmen Bennasar (mari_bennasar@williamjames.edu).

Students who are interested in the Guyana immersion program should contact Dr. Natalie Cort (natalie_cort@williamjames.edu).

Students who are interested in the Haiti immersion program should contact Dr. Gemima St. Louis (gemima_stlouis@williamjames.edu) and Dr. Jill Bloom (jill_bloom@williamjames.edu).

Students who are interested in the Kenya immersion program should contact Dr. Claire Fialkov (claire_fialkov@williamjames.edu) and Dr. David Haddad (david_haddad@williamjames.edu).


Q: Where can I find additional information about CMGMH concentrations?

If you have any questions about the concentration requirements, please email cmgmh@williamjames.edu or contact the concentration directors:

African & Caribbean Mental Health: Dr. Gemima St. Louis (gemima_stlouis@williamjames.edu)

Global Mental Health: Dr. Jill Bloom (jill_bloom@williamjames.edu)

Latino Mental Health: Dr. Mari Carmen Bennasar (mari_bennasar@williamjames.edu)

 

Episode 12: Boys of Color

Boys of Color Podcast

Multicultural and Global Mental Health Spotlight

Rapport Spring 2016 Cover Image