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Solving the global problem of mental health illness

Professor Deepa Rao and her colleagues say stigma, poor mental health, and substance abuse drive many global health problems, including diabetes, preterm birth, trauma injuries, self-harm and motor vehicle deaths. More than one billion people suffer from a mental health illness or substance abuse problem. “Mental health has been a neglected disease in global health,” says Rao, co-director of the UW Global Mental Health Program.

The next step is improving treatment. The Global Mental Health Program seeks philanthropic support for faculty, pilot research projects, and student scholarships and fellowships. Rao and her colleagues are conducting research and training to address gaps in global mental health interventions. One successful example is Professor Debra Kaysen’s therapy work in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where women are traumatized from domestic violence and rape.

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UW’s interdisciplinary innovation centers ‘can serve as a model for research institutions’

“Higher education is developing an efficient and effective new model for 21st Century innovation” write University of Washington professors David Baker, Tom Daniel, Ed Lazowska and Dan Schwartz in a recent opinion piece.

“Research institutes such as [those at the UW] eliminate sclerotic silos and bureaucratic boundaries by deftly blending teams of super-smart students, faculty, and research scientists from interconnected subject areas. As a result, these institutions stand the best chance of identifying and solving the toughest scientific and technological challenges of our age – they are confronting tomorrow today. The University of Washington, where we work, has a system of centers that has seen success and can serve as a model for research institutions across the country.”

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Husky Presidential Ambassadors Leadership Institute facilitates inclusive engagement

Universities across the nation are working to further connect international students and create a globally engaged campus environment for all students. Increasing globalization also raises the demand for graduates with increased competencies in cross-cultural communication and practice. Engaging together in cross-cultural leadership studies, undergraduates learn to think and connect across boundaries, enhancing all students’ Husky Experience.

Read more from Trends and Issues in Higher Ed