Featured Caregiver Mental Health Resources

Find below an annotated selection of resources as a part of the Caregiver Mental Health Knowledge Sharing Series, including: resources from the Series launch, Task Force Products, COVID-19 and Mental Health, Intervention Approaches, Organizations and Networks, Guidelines and Tools, and Selected Research and Publications.

Task Force Products

A critical component of the Caregiver Mental Health Knowledge Sharing Series has been the work of the Task Forces. These working groups worked to develop resources related to advancing implementation, research, and advocacy for improving mental health of caregivers and the associated impact on the health, nutrition, and food security of children and households. View the webinar launch of these resources and find the final products developed by each group below.

Implementation Task Force
The Implementation working group worked to identify and concisely summarize examples of entities that have addressed caregiver mental health in Sub-Saharan Africa. This sampling of case studies is captured here. Contact if you are aware of global programs, policies, or protocols related to mental health integration into food security and nutrition initiatives that could be added to this list.

Advocacy Task Force
Members of the Advocacy Task Force developed a position paper highlighting the evidence and importance of caregiver mental health in global development. The brief can be used as a tool to petition funders, decision-making bodies, and government entities to integrate caregiver mental health into existing mechanisms. The brief can be downloaded here. The group also documented two case studies of countries that have made great strides in prioritizing mental health nationally: Lebanon and Rwanda.

Research Task Force
This Task Force compiled a rapid research review to understand the evidence to date on the relationships between mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic, and to identify mediating and confounding factors such as food security and nutrition, parenting behaviors, and disability. The review is available here.

Caregiver Mental Health Series Launch Materials

Many thanks to all presenters and participants who joined the four-session Knowledge Sharing Series Launch in October 2020!

Visual notes from Caregiver Mental Health Mini-Series Session 1

The recording from Session 1: Importance and Impact of Caregiver Mental Health, featuring keynote speakers, Dr. Shekhar Saxena (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health) and Dr. Florence Baingana (World Health Organization) is available here and presentations are viewable here.

The presentations from Session 2: Caregiver Mental Health Implementation, which highlighted numerous case studies of addressing caregiver mental health, are available here.

Session 3: Caregiver Mental Health Research focused on the state of evidence related to caregiver mental health and the knowledge and current gaps in understanding of the causal pathway between mental health, nutrition and food security. The session materials can be accessed here.

The final portion of the Series launch - Session 4: Caregiver Mental Health Advocacy, Policy, and Funding - highlighted entities that are elevating caregiver mental health across the globe. The presentations and notes are available here.

COVID-19 and Mental Health

General COVID-19 Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Information

Mental Health of Front-line Responders in COVID-19

COVID-19 MHPSS Interventions in Health Contexts

COVID-19 and Mental Health for Children, Young People, Elderly, and other Special Populations

COVID-19 and Mental Health Webinar series

 The Lancet Psychiatry, Mental Health Innovation Network, and United for Global Mental Health have launched a series of weekly webinars designed to provide policy makers and the wider health community with the latest evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and how to address it.

Sign up for the seminar series via the links below, which are held bi-weekly on Tuesdays at 09:00 EST; 14:00 BST; 15:00 CET; 15:00 SAST; 18:30 IST. To sign up to any of the webinars follow this link, or for questions contact:

All recordings of previous webinars can be found here. Recent sessions include Effective Approaches to Tackling Mental Health Stigma and Discrimination, Human Rights and Mental Health, and Caregiver Mental Health and Early Childhood Development.

Intervention Approaches

Group Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

An empirically validated brief, attachment-focused psychotherapy developed by WHO and Columbia University that centers on resolving interpersonal problems and symptomatic recovery using a highly structured and time-limited approach, intended to be completed within 12–16 weeks.

Problem Management Plus (PM+)

A WHO-developed scalable psychological intervention for adults impaired by distress in communities who are exposed to adversity. Aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy were adapted to make them feasible in communities with limited specialists. 

Self Help Plus

A WHO-developed multimedia self-help package delivered by facilitators with minimal training, to improve the mental health and functioning of people affected by humanitarian emergencies.


A WHO-developed guided, technology-supported intervention for depression. It provides psycho-education and training in behavioral activation through an illustrated narrative with therapeutic techniques such as stress management (slow breathing), identifying strengths, positive self-talk, increasing social support and relapse prevention. 

Thinking Healthy

An evidence-based intervention for perinatal depression incorporating cognitive and behavioral techniques into community health workers’ routine work, in order to reduce perinatal depression and its negative impact on child development in resource-poor settings through task shifting.

Organizations and Networks

African Alliance for Maternal Mental Health

An alliance of organizations and individuals working together to improve the mental health of mothers in Africa. It is part of the Global Alliance of Maternal Mental Health and works in close collaboration with the Marcé Society African Regional Group.

Centre for Global Mental Health

In partnership with King’s College London and The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the Centre aims to be a leading academic institution in Global Mental Health that fosters research, capacity building and engagement in holistic, recovery- and rights-based mental health systems strengthening. 

Countdown Global Mental Health 2030

The Countdown launched in 2019 as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Goalkeepers mental health accelerator, which aims to build and strengthen a “multi-sectoral response, catalyzing government action, calling on corporations to make a commitment to mental health in the workplace, and tracking quality data”. The Countdown’s core partners are: Global Mental Health at HarvardWorld Health OrganizationUnited for Global Mental HealthGlobal Mental Health Peer Network and The Lancet.


FundaMentalSDG is a global initiative aiming to strengthen mental health in United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are committed to the belief that there can be no health without mental health, and that there can be no substantial development without a focus on mental health in the Development Agenda 2030.

Global Alliance for Maternal Mental Health (GAMMH)

A coalition of international organizations committed to improving the mental health and wellbeing of women and their children in pregnancy and the first postnatal year throughout the world. GAMMH’s aim is to foster the translation of research in perinatal and maternal mental health into better care and outcomes for women and their families wherever they live. Objectives include: increase international knowledge, awareness and action on maternal mental health, including its pivotal role in child development, the scale of the human and economic costs, and the evidence-based solutions; advocate for all countries to develop national policies on maternal mental health; inspire investment in evidence-based services and programs, as well as further research into the causes, prevention, impact and treatment of perinatal mental illness where needed; and ensure the voice of women with experience of maternal mental health problems is central to all the above.

Global Mental Health Action Network

The Global Mental Health Action Network is a global joint advocacy, communications and learning coalition consisting of over 1200 representatives of governments, international organisations, NGOs, academia and the private sector. The group was formed to encourage greater global collaboration on mental health advocacy, communications and learning, and to enable anyone with a professional interest in mental health and/or in health policy to have a means to link up with others who share this interest.

Grand Challenges in Mental Health

The Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health Initiative was led by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Global Alliance for Chronic Disease in partnership with the Wellcome Trust, the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The aim of the initiative was to identify research priorities that, if addressed within the next decade, could lead to substantial improvements in the lives of people living with neuropsychiatric illnesses. 

HealthRight International

A global health and human rights organization with a focus to innovate, implement and scale transformative mental health and psychosocial care. HealthRight projects combine direct service, systems strengthening, and advocacy. 

International Alliance for Mental Health Research Funders

A collaborative alliance that unites funders across borders to save lives, and improve treatments and care for people with mental health problems and their families worldwide. The mission of the International Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders (IAMHRF) is to accelerate progress in the mental health landscape by increasing the impact of mental health research investments. Building on a strategic agenda, knowledge exchange and collaboration between its members, IAMHRF is a platform that facilitates an international dialogue on mental health research funding priorities.

International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health

An international, interdisciplinary organization dedicated to supporting research and assistance surrounding prenatal and postpartum mental health for mothers, fathers and their babies. The mission is to sustain an international perinatal mental health community to promote research and high quality clinical care around the world. The Society aims to promote, facilitate and communicate about research into all aspects of the mental health of women, men/partners, infants and their families throughout pregnancy and the first two years after childbirth.

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Network
A growing global platform for connecting people, networks and organizations, for sharing resources and for building knowledge related to mental health and psychosocial support both in emergency settings and in situations of chronic hardship. The network functions as an online community of practice for mental health and psychosocial support in challenging humanitarian and development contexts, with participants from more than 100 countries worldwide.

Mental Health Innovation Network (MHIN)

A knowledge exchange hub for a global community of mental health stakeholders, including researchers, practitioners, service users, donors and policy makers, working together to share innovative resources and ideas to promote mental health and support scale-up of mental health services. MHIN hosts a growing database of over 150 innovative projects from around the world, as well as a repository of resources ranging from training manuals for specific interventions to the latest systematic reviews. The site also features a community area where 4000+ members can network through blogs, podcasts, webinars and discussion forums.

Maternal Health Task Force at the Harvard Chan School Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health—Perinatal Mental Health

Aims to ensure that front-line maternal health workers, policymakers, researchers and advocates across the world have access to the most current and reliable evidence in the field that can serve as a catalyst for research improvement and innovation. A bi-monthly email newsletter, online database, and blog of visionaries and important events aim to highlight interesting work and promote the advancement of maternal mental health globally.

Movement for Global Mental Health

The Movement for Global Mental Health is a network of individuals and organisations that aim to improve services for people living with mental health problems and psychosocial disabilities worldwide, especially in low- and middle-income countries where effective services are often scarce.

Postpartum Support International

An organization to increase awareness among public and professional communities about the emotional changes that women experience during pregnancy and postpartum. Includes members all over the world, including volunteer coordinators in every one of the United States and in more than 36 other countries. The organization disseminates information and resources through its volunteer coordinators, website and annual conference. Its goal is to provide current information, resources, education, and to advocate for further research and legislation to support perinatal mental health.

Post Partum Support Network Africa

A non-profit organization working to raise awareness about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in Africa. The mission is to educate mothers and families about postpartum depression across Africa, with an aim to provide free postpartum depression screening to expectant and new mothers, provide them with information about how to get professional help anywhere they are in Africa and to enable them to easily identify the symptoms when they start to experience them.

United for Global Mental Health (UGMH)

Working in partnership with international agencies and experts in the field, UGMH exists to support and unite the global effort to promote mental health. UGMH aims to provide advocacy, campaigning and financial support to global institutions, businesses, communities and individual changemakers seeking greater action on global mental health.

Resources and Tools

Basic Counseling Skills: A Guide for Health Workers in Maternal Care

As part of the Perinatal Mental Health Project, this handbook tries to provide basic counseling skills – like listening, asking questions and reflecting—for health workers who see women on a regular basis. There is also an outline for approaches to counseling mothers during pregnancy.

EQUIP: Ensuring Quality in Psychological Support

A WHO initiative to build and make freely available an evidence-informed and consensus-based package for organizations and trainers to ensure quality in their psychological support interventions. The package includes tools, guidance on implementation and online training resources that support trained non-specialist providers to reach a standard of competency to be able to deliver manualized psychological interventions. There is a strong focus on core competencies (e.g., communications skills, empathy) and guidance for evaluating and achieving specific competencies helpers may need, which will vary depending on the types of interventions they are delivering.

Global Mental Health Map (GMH-Map) Project

GMH-Map is an ongoing, collaborative project to research, organize, and share important GMH resources. The project seeks to further orient those involved in the health fields and other sectors to the GMH domain. It includes three parts: a website, publications, and training.

IOM Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement

This manual describes the process International Organization for Migration (IOM) MHPSS program managers should follow to design and implement relevant program in the aftermath of an emergency and with displaced populations.

Mental Health Atlas

Project of the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, designed to collect, compile and disseminate data on mental health resources in the world. Resources include mental health policies, plans, financing, care delivery, human resources, medicines, and information systems. Mental Health Atlas’ project report was first published in 2001 and the information was updated in 2005, 2011, 2014 and 2017. The Atlas project assumes a new importance following the adoption and launch of the Comprehensive WHO Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020.

mhGAP Community Toolkit, field test version

An integral part of WHO's Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP), and aims at scaling up services for people with mental health conditions to achieve universal health coverage. The toolkit provides guidance for program managers on how to identify local mental health needs and tailor community services to match these needs. It offers practical information and necessary tools for community providers to promote mental health, prevent mental health conditions and expand access to mental health services.

mhGAP Intervention Guide e-Learning Course

The WHO mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) was launched by WHO in 2008 with the objective of scaling up care for mental, neurological and substance use disorders. The mhGAP Intervention Guide (mhGAP-IG) was published in 2010 as a practical manual for non-specialist healthcare providers. This e-learning course is based on the WHO mhGAP Base Course training package for training non-specialist healthcare providers to use the mhGAP-IG. 

Museum of Lost and Found Potential

Created by Speak Your Mind - the nationally driven, globally united campaign that wants everyone, everywhere to have the mental health support they need. After the world premiere in London’s Covent Garden, the museum is journeying across the world as a travelling exhibition.

Toolkit for the Integration of Mental Health into General Healthcare in Humanitarian Settings

International Medical Corps launched the toolkit to help the humanitarian community better integrate mental health into primary health care programs. The Toolkit for the Integration of Mental Health into General Healthcare in Humanitarian Settings is an interactive guide that empowers users to plan, design, and implement more effective and sustainable mental health programs.

UNICEF Operational Guidelines on Community Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Humanitarian Settings

Developed in response to emerging evidence on the determinants of children’s resilience, learnings from the evaluation of existing approaches, and the unique challenges that today’s crises pose for children’s safety, well-being, and optimal development.  The guidelines are meant to help agencies working with children to support and promote safe, nurturing environments for children’s recovery, psychosocial well-being, and protection, and provides a framework that emphasizes engaging actors at all levels (children, caregivers, families and community service providers) to design and implement MHPSS strategies that are locally relevant, comprehensive and sustainable.

WHO Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020

The Action Plan focuses on four major objectives: more effective leadership and governance for mental health; the provision of comprehensive, integrated mental health and social care services in community-based settings; implementation of strategies for promotion and prevention; and strengthened information systems, evidence and research.

WHO Special Initiative on Global Mental Health

This WHO Special Initiative (2019-2023) seeks to ensure universal health coverage involving access to quality and affordable care for mental health conditions in 12 countries to 100 million more people. The initiative will advance policies, advocacy and human rights, and scale-up quality interventions and services for people with mental health conditions, including substance use and neurological disorders.

Select Research and Publications

Motivation and Methods of External Organisations Investing in Mental Health in Low-income and Middle-income Countries: a Qualitative Study. The Lancet | April 2021.

United for Global Mental Health launched a Briefing Paper on Philanthropic Financing in Mental Health | 2021.  

Global Mental Health: Collaborating for Sustainable Wellbeing and Development | March 2021. A revised version of this article is in the forthcoming volume (in press): E.P. Congress, H. Takooshian, & S. Osborn (Eds.), Behavioral Science and Health in the Global Arena. Information Age Publishing.

Scaling Up Maternal Mental healthcare by Increasing access to Treatment (SUMMIT) through non-specialist providers and telemedicine: a study protocol for a non-inferiority randomized controlled trial. BMC Trials | 2021.

Social determinants of mental disorders and the Sustainable Development Goals: a systematic review of reviews. Lancet Psychiatry | 2018.

Maternal Depression Can Undermine the Development of Young Children: Working Paper No. 8 - Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University | 2009.

Mental Health Financing Policy Paper - As part of the Global Mental Health Action Network Financing Mental Health Working Group’s engagement with the IMF and World Bank Spring meetings, the working group has produced a policy paper making the case for governments, and specifically finance ministries, to invest in mental health. Additionally, working group member Zack Burton wrote an excellent blog post on how Finance Ministries can Catalyze Post-COVID-19 Mental Health Action.

Setting Up Community Mental Health Programmes in Low and Middle Income Countries. Open Access Book Chapter. Julian Eaton.

Global Mental Health: Collaborating for Sustainable Development and Wellbeing. O’Donnell, K., Eaton, J., & Lewis O’Donnell, M. | May 2021. A revised version of this article will appear in the forthcoming volume (in press): E.P. Congress, H. Takooshian, & S. Osborn (Eds.), Behavioral Science and Health in the Global Arena. Information Age Publishing.

The Global Mental health Assessment Database (GMhAD) was established to collect tools designed ‘to assess mental disorders or locally recognized forms of distress’ for use in low- and middle-income countries, or the Global South, or among displaced populations. There are currently more than 50 entries of screening tools with the country and language of use listed.

United for Global Mental Health has presented their report on the urgent need for integrating mental health into universal health coverage (UHC), detailing why and how it can happen. United for Global Mental Health | December 2020

Lancet Commission on Stigma and Discrimination in Mental Health. The Lancet | November 2020

Adverse childhood experiences and mental and behavioral health conditions during pregnancy: The role of resilience. Journal of Women's Health | September 2018

Efficacy of psychosocial interventions for mental health outcomes in low-income and middle-income countries: an umbrella review. The Lancet Psychiatry | January 2020

Epidemiology of maternal depression, risk factors, and child outcomes in low-income and middle-income countries. The Lancet | October 2016

Food insecurity and maternal depression in rural, low-income families: a longitudinal investigation.  Public Health Nutrition | August 2009

Grand challenges: Integrating maternal mental health into maternal and child health programmes. PLOS Medicine | May 2013

“I keep it to myself”: A qualitative meta interpretive synthesis of experiences of postpartum depression among marginalised women. Health & Social Care in the Community | September 2018

Interventions for common perinatal mental disorders in women in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Bulletin of the World Health Organization | April 2013

Interventions to treat mental disorders during pregnancy: A systematic review and multiple treatment meta-analysis. PLOS One | March 2017

Maternal depression: a global threat to children’s health, development, and behavior and to human rights. Child Development Perspectives | 2009

Maternal depression: a hidden burden in developing countriesAMH Sci Res. | 2014

Maternal depression and early childhood growth in developing countries: systematic review and meta-analysis.  Bulletin of the World Health Organization | 2011

Maternal depression and mental health in early childhood: an examination of underlying mechanisms in low-income and middle-income countries. Lancet Psychiatry  | October 2016

Maternal Depression: The potential role of nutrition in prevention and treatment. Alive & Thrive| February 2020

Maternal Mental Health. World Health Organization | 2019

Maternal mental health in primary care in five low- and middle-income countries: a situational analysis. BMC Health Services Research  | February 2016

Maternal mental health: program and policy implications. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | March 2009

Maternal Mental Health Service Development Guidelines. Perinatal Mental Health Project October 2010

Maternal mental health: The missing “m” in the global maternal and child health agenda. Seminars in Perinatology  | July 2015

Maternal mental health: Why it matters and what countries with limited resources can do. The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health | 2014

Migration and perinatal mental health in women from low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BJOG | June 2016

No health without mental health. The Lancet | 2007.

Nurturing Care for Early Childhood Development. WHO, UNICEF, World Bank | 2018

Perinatal Mental Health Series. The Lancet | November 2014

Perinatal psychiatric disorders: An overview. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology | June 2014

Prevalence and determinants of common perinatal mental disorders in women in low- and lower-middle-income countries: A systematic reviewBulletin of the World Health Organization | November 2011

WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health (2019-2023). WHO | 2019

WHO Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan (2013-2020). WHO | 2019

Women’s experiences of seeking and receiving psychological and psychosocial interventions for postpartum depression: A systematic review and thematic synthesis of the qualitative literature. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health | December 2017

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The Caregiver Mental Health Knowledge Sharing Series was made possible by grants from The Implementer-Led Design, Evidence, Analysis and Learning (IDEAL) Activity and the Eleanor Crook Foundation (ECF). The IDEAL Small Grants Program is made possible by the generous support and contribution of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of the materials produced through the IDEAL Small Grants Program do not necessarily reflect the views of IDEAL, USAID, or the United States Government. This website is provided and maintained by Food for the Hungry.  For questions or inquiries please contact us at the email provided below or by clicking Contact Us.