Researchers at The New School and George Washington University are launching a five-year research study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, to test the value of Problem Management Plus (PM+) in promoting the mental health of New Yorkers from communities hard-hit by COVID-19. This project will train trusted staff in community-based settings to deliver PM+, with the goal of reducing barriers to mental healthcare. The Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health is supporting this project by identifying promising organizations to join the study.

What is PM+?
Developed by the World Health Organization, PM+ is an innovative toolkit to manage adversity and increase emotional wellbeing through a user-friendly and adaptable technique that anyone can learn, without requiring a degree or a certain professional background. Trusted community members can be trained to give support to people feeling distress over 5-sessions.

What are the goals of the study? This study will include launching a randomized controlled trial that tests the viability of bringing PM+ to New York City to help people facing systemic barriers to mental healthcare. The study also seeks to create evidence on the effectiveness of non-traditional approaches to delivering mental health services in under-served communities. Staff from community organizations will be trained to offer PM+ and later, their delivery of PM+ to New Yorkers in need will be analyzed against a control group of organizations where PM+ is not offered.

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