We are advancing brain health through collaborative Research, Education, and Innovation in Mental Health and Neuroscience
The Brain and Mind Institute (BMI) plans to affect change through implementation (or delivery) science. BMI’s Implementation Science Team consists of over 20 prominent researchers and practitioners, with exciting and multidisciplinary skillsets, including expertise in psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience, social and medical anthropology, mental health, suicide prevention, health economics, data science, public policy, and instructional design.
As part of BMI's efforts to build a National Self-Harm Registry, we in partnership with the Aga Khan University Hospital, will integrate screening tools for depression and suicidal ideation into electronic health records (EHR). Such integration, continuous monitoring and assessment, is a pilot project that we intend to expand to other Kenyan hospitals and potentially contribute to developing a National Self-harm Registry, in partnership with Kenya's Ministry of Health, Division of Mental Health.
Focus on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
To date, 90% of the world's population has been excluded from research on Alzheimer's disease since most of the studies have been done on white populations with Western European ancestry. In response, we have forged a partnership with Davos Alzheimer's Collaborative , to address the huge need in Sub-Saharan Africa, in general, and in Kenya in particular. We at BMI, plan to establish a Dementia Hub to promote Alzheimer's research, enhance culturally sensitive care, and broaden access to innovative treatments across the African continent.
The partnership is a trailblazing collaboration to redefine Alzheimer's screening and diagnostics, biomarker development for early detection and the development of innovative preventive and treatment interventions. We feel that our data will contribute to a better global understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, because the roots of the global populations stem from the Rift Valley of East Africa. Our focus will be on vulnerable and underserved populations, accelerating the development of novel treatments predicated on a precision medicine approach.
Moreover, we collaborated in the African launch of the Lancet-World Psychiatric Association Commission on Depression after the worldwide debut. This launch is significantly noteworthy since depression is the leading cause of illness all over the world and the largest risk factor for suicidal ideation and suicidal acts. The Lancet-WPA Commission on Depression was tasked to synthesize evidence from various contexts and generate action-oriented recommendations in conjunction with individuals who have lived experience with depression. Their objective is to promote concerted and united action to reduce the burden of depression and ensure that greater attention is paid to the millions of individuals who suffer from depression worldwide. You can watch the recording of the pre-launch here and the main launch here.
Focus on awareness building and defeating stigma
Another milestone achievement for the BMI was the launch of our Mental Health Ambassadorship Micro-Certification Course . This course aims to produce mental health ambassadors and is designed to be accessible to anyone and everyone, with no prerequisites or registration restrictions. This course was piloted concurrently in Kenya and Pakistan. The objective is to mobilize a group of advocates for mental health who will strive to eliminate stigma and identify and support those in need while promoting mental well-being for all.
The Aga Khan University
University Centre, 3rd Parklands Avenue
P.O. Box 30270 - 00100, GPO, Nairobi, Kenya