About The Program

Launched in 2011, RedeAmericas brought together investigators in psychiatry and public health from four Latin American countries and the US. It is co-led by Ezra Susser and Sandro Galea from the U.S. and by Graciela Rojas and Ruben Alvarado from Chile. The group also includes an interdisciplinary group of investigators from urban centers in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), Argentina (Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Neuquen), and Colombia (Medellin).

RedeAmericas was one of five regional networks or “Collaborative Hubs” in Africa, Asia, and Latin Americathat were established by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to increase the research base for mental health interventions in low- and middle-income countries.

The overarching goal of this multi-faceted project is to improve the condition of people living with mental disorders in urban areas of Latin America. The NIMH-funded project included a pilot test of Critical Time Intervention-Task Shifting (CTI-TS), adapted from Critical Time Intervention (CTI), a time-limited intervention widely used in high-income countries. It also included a capacity-building program and other training opportunities.

Pilot Research

RedeAmericas implemented a pilot randomized controlled trial of Critical Time Intervention – Task Shifting (CTI-TS) for individuals with psychosis who have recently entered community mental health centers in Rio de Janeiro and Santiago.

This intervention was adapted for Latin America from the evidence-based Critical Time Intervention (CTI) model developed in New York City in the late 1980s and is now widely used across many high-income countries. CTI is a time-limited form of care management for vulnerable people during a critical period of transition in their lives (e.g., when people have been discharged from the hospital and are transitioning to living in the community; or when people are initiating a relationship with the mental health care system). [For more information about the CTI model, go to the Center for Advancement of Critical Time Intervention (CACTI)]

The adapted intervention was designed for people with psychoses in Latin America who recently started receiving care from a community mental health service. It included the use of peer support workers and coordination with local primary health care centers. The study outcome measures included quality of life and users’ perceptions of recovery. A complementary study of CTI-TS using implementation science also took place in Cordoba.

Current Work

After the phase of NIMH funding, the network continues to be active, with meetings in Lima (2017) and Neuquen (2018), and further expansion of regional members to include representatives from Ecuador, Bolivia, and Guatemala.