Transforming mental health for young people



The global population of young people exceeds one billion with almost 90 % residing in low to middle-income countries. Mental disorders account for a considerable burden in the formative years of adolescence and young adulthood. Depressive, anxiety and conduct disorders (the ‘common mental disorders’) account for over 75% of the burden of mental disorders in this age group. There is a considerable body of evidence to suggest that a range of psychological treatments are effective for treating mental disorders in adolescents. However, the vast majority of young people do not receive these treatments. There are many reasons for this ‘treatment gap’. Much of the existing evidence comes from high-income countries, and there are questions about how relevant this evidence is for settings where interventions can only be delivered by non-specialized health workers, where the cultural explanations for mental health problems are rarely biomedical, and where the demand for mental health care is low.


What does this project seek to do?

The goal of PRIDE is to develop a psychosocial intervention targeting common mental disorders in school going adolescents comprising a combination of self-care and counselling delivered by lay counsellors and to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing symptom severity and improving recovery rates in adolescents with these mental disorders.

How will PRIDE achieve these goals?

The program will follow two broad phases of research over five years. In the first phase, we will develop the intervention while the second phase is a randomized controlled trial of this intervention evaluating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of this intervention. The program will be conducted in partnership with schools in New Delhi and Goa. PRIDE will also actively engage with adolescents to ensure that the research is aligned with their priority concerns and to build capacity in adolescents to advocate for and to address mental health problems.

PRIDE is supported by a Principal Research Fellowship grant from the Wellcome Trust to Vikram Patel. The primary institutions are the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (UK), the Public Health Foundation of India (Delhi, India) and Sangath (Goa, India). The PRIDE team comprises of mental health professionals, researchers and administrators in both of the project sites.


Vikram Patel – Principal Investigator
Bidyut K Sarkar – Project Director
Prachi Khandeparkar – Project Advisor
Daniel Michelson – Clinical Academic Director
Kanika Malik – Intervention Director

Akankasha Joshi – Intervention Coordinator
Roderick Monteiro – Intervention Coordinator
Madhuri Krishna – Intervention Coordinator
Rachana Parikh – Senior Research Associate
Kallol Roy – Senior Research Associate

Bhargav Bhat – Data Manager
Mahima Sapru – Research Associate
Smita Naik – IT Coordinator

Public Engagement (PE)
Pattie Gonsalves – Project Coordinator
Sweta Pal – Communication Officer

Shreyas Kamat – Senior Administrative Officer
Kavita Nair – Administrative Coordinator
Prachi Sharma – Administrative Executive

Sangath transparent