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Decolonizing Global Mental Health

Capturing Lay Counsellor Experiences to Inform Scaling-up of a Perinatal Depression program in rural Rajasthan, India.


2022 - 2024


Rajasthan, India


Dr. Ravindra Agrawal, Prof. Abhijit Nadkarni, Aneel Brar, Dr. Aliyah Dosani, and Dr. Shahirose Premji




The project aims to explore stakeholder experiences during the implementation and scaling-up of a community-based, lay counselor-delivered perinatal mental health treatment program.




Task-sharing has the potential to broaden the reach of mental health care to underserved communities, a process called “scaling up”. By exploring the lay counselors’ experiences as they become professionalized caregivers, we will be able to gather information relevant to scaling up not only perinatal mental health work in Rajasthan but also all other task-sharing models involving non-specialist workers to make quality mental health care available and accessible, thereby reducing the mental health treatment gap, across India.


Progress till date


Qualitative interviews and participant observation have been conducted successfully with 21 lay counselors to understand lay counselors’ experiences of personal transformation during the process of professionalization during the initial phases of scaling up; and how these subjective experiences help decolonize the evidence base in global mental health and inform the process of scaling up.




We have derived a thematic framework of lay counselor professionalisation, transformation, and relationship building in task-sharing interventions.



  • Mata Jai Kaur Maternal and Child Health Centre, Rajasthan, India

  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

  • Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada

  • Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada



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