Building Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Capacity During a Pandemic : The Process of Adapting Problem Management Plus for Remote Training and Implementation During COVID-19 in New York City, Europe and East Africa

On March 11, 2020, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. In response to the sudden rise in COVID-19-related mental health and psychosocial impacts, we embarked on a digital training (e-learning) and remote delivery adaptation for Problem Management Plus Training for Helpers (Remote PM+ Training) based in New York City, four European countries and six African countries.


This paper provides an overview of the two Remote PM+ Trainings, including key adaptations and lessons learned across the contexts. Trainings were approximately 75 hours in duration, with a mix of group and individual work, in diverse contexts. Overall, remotely delivered PM+ training and intervention appear appropriate. There were a number of critical lessons learned that contributed to the efficacy of the trainings, such as technological support, digital literacy, preparation and flexibility among the trainers and the trainees. There is also a need for cultural and contextual adaptation towards the delivery of remote training and implementation of PM+.


However, the outcomes from these two trainings indicate that PM+ may be adapted for remote (online) training and, if supported with additional studies, could build workforce capacity in contexts in which there is limited in-person access to mental health and psychosocial support services and staff.

Kelly A. McBride, Sarah Harrison, Sudeshna Mahata, Kendall Pfeffer, Francesca Cardamone, Teresa Ngigi, Brandon A. Kohrt, Gloria A. Pedersen, Claire Greene, Darryll Viljoen, Orso Muneghina & Adam D. Brown | 2021
In: Intervention ; ISSN : 1571-8883 | 19 | 1 | march | 37-47
COVID-19 (en), Interventions, Mental health, Psychosocial support