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Global MINDS Fellowship Program: Overview

Celebrating the next generation of global changemakers for mental health system innovation!

Our Approach

The Global MINDS Fellowship Program (GMFP) is a year-long opportunity for highly qualified applicants from low- and middle-income countries and Canada with diverse academic backgrounds and skills to collaborate in international transdisciplinary teato catalyze the development, implementation, mobilization and evaluation of disruptive solutions for the wicked problem of reducing the global burden of mental and substance use disorders and related issues.

The first GMFP (2017-18) was held in Kenya, with its cohort of Fellows focused on developing solutions for the East African context. The second GMFP (2018-19) will be held in London, Canada, and will be focused on incubating innovative solutions with and for local communities facing marginalization, including mental health inequities.

SI Group

The GMFP approach is carried out through three stages:

1. Pre-Summer Institute Orientation

The Pre-Summer Institute Orientation prepares Fellows for the journey that they will soon embark on and welcomes them to the Global MINDS family. Through team-building activities, storytelling and an exploration of skills and competencies, Fellows are introduced to the Guiding Principles of Global MINDS, to Faculty, Fellow Mentors (2017-18 Fellow alumni from Western University and Kenya) and to each other, while beginning to conceptualize and reflect on their unique and individual strengths and that make up the larger GMFP community. Fellows will also prepare for the Summer Institute in advance by having access to foundational learning materials (e.g. readings and teaching videos).

2. Summer Institute

Over a two-week period, Fellows will collectively comprise of four high-performing teams, and will be tasked to develop a “disruptive solution” for a complex mental health system challenge proposed by one of our Community Partners, totalling four complex challenges. Each team will receive guidance from a Faculty Coach and Fellow Mentor, and will work in partnership with their Community Partners and local stakeholders to address these challenges. Teams engage in an intensive curriculum of sense-making exercises (system mapping, stakeholder analysis), developing iterative complex challenge questions and briefs, determining personal and team impact statements, and designing implementation, evaluation and sustainability strategies. Professional capacity building opportunities are integrated into the curriculum, including daily mindfulness and reflection sessions, cultural exchange, larger group and team-building activities, and focused, interactive learning on topics such as public speaking and leadership development. The Summer Institute ends with a “Disruptive Solutions Final Pitch Event”, where teams pitch their final solution to receive seed funding. Audience members will include: Community Partner representatives, Global MINDS faculty and staff, university and public officials, and other members of the community.

3. Post-Summer Institute Activities

Following the Summer Institute, each team will implement, evaluate and disseminate their project solutions over the year with coaching from faculty, guidance by Mentors, and in partnership with local stakeholders. Other faculty members from Global MINDS will be brought in as process or content experts as needed. Projects are expected to obtain approval from the Western University Research Ethics Board. Throughout the year, Fellows also participate in Knowledge Exchange Activities (webinars, oral and written report submissions) and Professional Development Activities (reflective practice, teambuilding, and leadership activities). Fellows also share their journey on the SnapShot Blog.

The inaugural year of the GMFP is currently underway, with the first Summer Institute having taken place in Machakos Town, Machakos County, Kenya (May 21 – June 3, 2017). Learn more about the 2017 Global MINDS Fellowship Program.

Our Fellows

As students, our GMFP Fellows excel academically, and demonstrate interest in mental health and positive social change. They are motivated by a genuine sense of compassion for others and a drive for using innovative approaches to tackling complex challenges.

Get to know our 2017 Fellows.

Learn more about our 2017 Fellows’ Summer Institute experience.

Our Faculty Mentors

Fellows are supported by faculty and researchers from Western University and the Africa Mental Health Foundation. Together, their expertise spans an array of diverse fields of knowledge (including mental health, social innovation, information and media studies, education, business, and population health), demonstrating our approach for transdisciplinary collaboration in tackling dynamic and emergent complex challenges.