Dr Daniela Fuhr
Dipl-Psych MSc DrPH
in Mental Health Systems
15-17 Tavistock Place
My research addresses the treatment gap for common mental disorders, and focuses on the design and evaluation of mental health programmes for disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. I am particularly interested in low intensity interventions and task-sharing in low and middle-income countries. One important aspect of my work is to strengthen mental health systems in resource constrained settings, and to seek ways to overcome health system challenges to improve mental health outcomes. I am a mixed methods researcher, and have worked on both experimental and observational study designs. Before joining LSHTM, I worked at the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Geneva for several years.
I am Associate Editor of the BMC journal Conflict and Health.
I teach on the MSc in Global Mental Health, and organise the core module “Design and Evaluation of Mental Health Programmes”. The course seeks to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to develop and evaluate innovative mental health interventions which facilitate access to care, and make best use of the health system resources which are available in a setting. The course focuses on formative research and pilot studies and employs problem-based learning; examples of different mental health programmes from low and middle-income countries are presented in class. I also tutor on the MSc in Global Mental Health, and take on research degree students with an interest in Global Mental Health, and mental health implementation research. I am also Deputy Chair of the Global Mental Health exam board.
I work on the STRENGHTS (Syrian Refugees Mental Health Care Systems) project which is funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 scheme. STRENGHTS focuses on the mental health needs of Syrian refugees, and seeks to provide a framework for scaling-up the delivery and uptake of Problem Management+ (PM+) in countries neighbouring Syria (Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan) and major European host countries (Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland). PM+ is a transdiagnostic counselling intervention for PTSD, depression and anxiety disorders which has been developed by WHO. To inform the implementation of PM+, we are employing rapid appraisal methodology to analyse the responsiveness of the health system in addressing the mental health needs of Syrian refugees in the study countries, and are conducting cross-sectional population-level surveys and in-depth qualitative research to explore access to mental health care. We are also conducting Theory of Change workshops to prepare for the scaling up phase of the project.
I am also PI on a Wellcome funded seed grant which seeks to develop a community-based intervention for alcohol use disorders in Ukraine. Our population of interest focuses on the general population, including internally displaced people.
Previously, I worked on maternal depression in India and Pakistan; we have developed a cost-effective intervention for mothers with depression which is based on behavioural activation and ready to be implemented at scale in low and middle-income countries.