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The Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma The Harvard Medical School Department of Continuing Education


GLOBAL MENTAL HEALTH: Trauma and Recovery
Certificate Program


Click here to download the 2019-2020 Program Brochure.



The Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program provides training for health care practitioners, humanitarian relief workers and policy planners addressing the health and mental health sequelae of trauma. The curriculum is adaptable for diverse populations and global environments affected by violence and natural disasters. This course utilizes an innovative blended learning approach, combining on-site lectures and web-based learning into a transformative training experience, to develop a Community of Practice.

Community of Practice: In essence, communities of practice are groups of people who share similar goals and interests. In pursuit of these goals and interests, they employ common practices, work with the same tools and express themselves in a common language. Through such common activity, they come to hold similar beliefs and value systems.


More than one billion people have been affected by violence and disaster throughout the world. Our mission is to maximize a scientific and cultural approach and methodology to reduce suffering, minimize disability and increase resiliency for survivors of violence worldwide. This Program offers a transformative training experience to create a network of global leaders in mental health recovery


Upon completion of the certificate program, participants will be able to:

  1. Integrate science, culture and evidence-based knowledge and practices in all 8 dimensions of the Global Mental Health Action Plan in policy planning, clinical care, humanitarian, and human rights activities.
  2. Demonstrate new leadership skills into program development, clinical care and research.
  3. Implement evaluation skills into your work environment.
  4. Apply professional development and ethics in working with vulnerable groups and communities.
  5. Define and perform trauma informed care approach to patient care.


Phase 1: Two-week face-to-face gathering in Porano and Orvieto, Umbria Region, Italy

Phase 2: Six months of web-based learning

The program has been designed based upon the Community of Practice model. Participants will experience an innovative blended learning experience that comprises on-site lectures in Orvieto, Italy from November 11-22, 2019, followed by web-based learning in students’ home countries from November 2019 to May 2020. In Italy, the participants receive an interactive and interdisciplinary curriculum based upon the chapters in the textbook Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery: A Companion Guide for Field and Clinical Care of Traumatized People Worldwide. The participants meet one another and take part in small group activities that allow them to share their interests, goals, and field expertise. They also participate in a technical training course where they learn to use Sutra, the learning management system (LMS) currently used to deliver the course.

Additionally, they participate in presentations led by faculty members. Small group discussion will continue online with case presentations and dialogue between participants and faculty, in addition to conversation and instruction related to lectures heard in Italy. The faculty-student ratio in the small groups is 1:5. As a unique experience in this certificate program, each participant is asked to create a small, multimedia video (using any combination of text, video, and/or audio) centered around their own personal work in order to explore to what extent our environment fosters or promotes healing and how we can incorporate healing principles into the way we structure our physical surroundings. While prior knowledge of how to create a video is not required, participants must be willing to learn from tutorials and/or have someone be able to assist them, as needed.


The program emphasis is on learning an integrated holistic approach to policy planning and clinical care using the Global Mental Health Action Plan.

Topics include:

  • Phenomenological theory of trauma and recovery developed by HPRT and international colleagues over 30 years
  • Epidemiology and the History of Global Violence
  • Policy and Legislation
  • Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Women’s Health
  • Mental Health and Medical Disorders
  • Working in Interdisciplinary Medical Teams
  • Human Rights and Rebuilding Social Capital
  • Economic Development, including use of HIT innovations
  • Research Methods and Outcome Evaluation
  • How to Participate in Web-based Learning


An international faculty of renowned leaders in the field of mental health and post-conflict recovery will closely interact in teaching and dialogue with students during the two weeks in Italy, as well as during the five following months of web-based distance learning. For our 2019-2020 faculty, please see the GMH Brochure as well as our Team page.


The Harvard Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Harvard Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 65 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. The Harvard Medical School designates this enduring material activity for a maximum of 62 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Explanation of Credit Award: Participants can earn up to 127 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ consisting of 65 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ for the “live” part (on site in Italy) and 62 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ for the “enduring” part (online).

Participation in both parts of the course is required to receive CME credits.


Harvard Medical School (HMS) adheres to all ACCME Accreditation Criteria and Policy. It is HMS’s policy that those who have influenced the content of a CME activity (e.g. planners, faculty, authors, reviewers and others) disclose all relevant financial relationships with commercial entities so that HMS may identify and resolve any conflicts of interest prior to the activity. These disclosures will be provided in the activity materials along with disclosure of any commercial support received for the activity. Additionally, faculty members have been instructed to disclose any limitations of data and unlabeled or investigational uses of products during their presentations


CME activities accredited by Harvard Medical School are offered solely for educational purposes and do not constitute any form of certification of competency. Practitioners should always consult additional sources of information and exercise their best professional judgment before making clinical decisions of any kind.

This course is designed to meet one or more of the following Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competencies:

Patient care – Medical knowledge – Systems-based practice

This course is designed to meet the following Institute of Medicine (IOM) Competencies:

  • Provide Patient-Centered Care
  • Work in Interdisciplinary Teams
  • Employ Evidence-Based Practice


Please go to the APPLICATION page to access and download the application form and for further information.