Center for Innovation in


at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy

The Center for Innovation in Mental Health (CIMH) is an academic training and research center that promotes the reach and adoption of effective mental health interventions through research, evaluation, training, and policy. CIMH engages in local and global efforts to advance mental health service and research to improve access and quality of mental health care.

Why is mental health work important?

1 in every 5 people
has symptoms of a mental health disorder
5 to 1
return of investment on mental health care
Less than 40%
of people with depression have access to mental health care

Community-based interventions

in diverse, low-resource settings and economically disadvantaged communities locally, nationally, and globally, including Vietnam, Uganda, New York, and Los Angeles

Capacity building

through efforts such as training in evidence-based practices for community organizations and healthcare settings and developing toolkits and practice guidelines

Quality improvement strategies

such as dashboards, learning collaboratives, and training and supervision models

Implementation science research

based on evidence-informed innovations, such as task-shifting in mental health care

CIMH engages in community-based participatory research to guide program design and implementation. We have an extensive background in developing community engagement, capacity building, implementing, disseminating, scaling up, and evaluating evidence-based practices for mental health across multiple sectors for vulnerable communities globally.  

We implement and evaluate different models for integrating mental health care into a variety of settings, including primary care, HIV, maternal health, and schools, to offer more accessible gateways to mental health care.

CIMH focuses on research examining the links between common mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety and a range of economic outcomes. Our goal is to better understand the support needs of individuals at risk of mental health challenges to break the downward cycle of mental illness, poor physical health, and poverty. We develop and evaluate innovations based on evidence-based research across communities and best practices in the field.

We develop, implement, and evaluate mental health interventions aimed at improving a wide variety of outcomes, including economic, physical health, and other psychosocial measures for high-risk low-income populations locally and globally.

Bringing awareness and ending stigma surrounding mental health in Vietnam

Advancing systems collaboration for trauma-impacted communities

Improving community resilience in Harlem, New York City

Innovating mental health care for cancer patients

Project Dep Training

We train a community network of lay providers in Vietnam to provide mental health services in primary care settings.

HEARD Knowledge Hub

We maintain a collaborative platform for sharing and maintaining psychosocial resources and research.

Cancer Epidemiology Education in Special Populations (CEESP)

As part of the CEESP Program, we provide support for students to conduct mentored research on the intersection between cancer care and mental health in global and U.S. minority settings.

Global is Local: Ending Mental Health Disparities
with Dr. Milton Wainberg
October 28, 2021
4-5:30 PM EST
Learn more
July is National Minority Mental Health Month
CIMH alumnus Jonathan Block blogs about the mental health needs of those who identify as part of the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
Read the blog

Victoria Ngo


Victoria Ngo is an Associate Professor of Community Health and Social Sciences at the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH), Director of the Center for Innovation in Mental Health at CUNY SPH, Director for Global Mental Health in the Center for Immigrant, Refugee, and Global Health, and an adjunct behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation.

Catherine Dinh-Le

Center Manager

Catherine Dinh-Le is the Center Manager at the Center for Innovation in Mental Health at the CUNY School of Public Health. She has a background in health policy, sociomedical sciences, and digital health with specific interests in addressing health disparities in immigrant communities and low and middle-income countries.

Andrea Lopez

Project Manager

Andrea Isabel López is a Project Manager at the Center for Innovation in Mental Health at the CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy. She received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Latin American Studies from Syracuse University. She also received her MPH in Community Health from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.

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