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Peer-to-peer depression support designed with youth, for youth.


2024 - 2028


NCT of Delhi, India


Dr. Daniel Michelson, Dr. Pattie Gonsalves, Dr. Kanika Malik, Dr Daniel Stahl, Dr. Clio Berry, and Hitesh Sanwal



METROPOLIS (Mechanistic trial of problem-solving and behavioral activation for youth depression) aims to address the care gap faced by young people with depression in low–resource university settings. This study will examine the effectiveness of two brief psychological interventions, problem-solving, and behavioural activation, for college-going students in Delhi NCR, delivered by peers. 

Collaborating with a diverse group of young people with experience of depression is the cornerstone of METROPOLIS. Various groups of young people will be involved in all stages of the study, by acting as advisors, supporting recruitment activities, co-designing psychological interventions, delivering those interventions, analysing data, and disseminating the findings to the public.


India is home to 20% of the world’s youth and has a scarcity of mental healthcare professionals. This makes it difficult for youth to receive timely support for depression. Brief interventions known to reduce depression have been developed and tested in Western countries. METROPOLIS aims to adapt these interventions for peer delivery in Delhi NCR and study their effectiveness in addressing youth depression. Potential scalability will be increased further by training university students as peer counsellors who will implement these interventions.

Through METROPOLIS, we will gain crucial insights into young Indian students’ preferences for mental health support, how to deliver this support efficiently via peers, and how these interventions work to reduce depression.

Progress till date

  • 2022: Granted the Mental Health Award (Looking Backwards, Moving Forward) by Wellcome Trust

  • 2024: We are closely collaborating with universities and diverse groups of young people to design peer-led mental health interventions to build problem-solving and healthy activity skills among students in Delhi/ NCR. 

  • 2025-2028: We will provide peer-delivered mental health support for over 700 students across Delhi NCR.


  • King’s College, London, UK

  • OP Jindal Global University, Haryana India

  • Youth for Mental Health, Delhi, India

  • University of Sussex, Brighton, UK


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