Doctors Program (2016–2022)

For a country of over 1.3 billion people, India has only around  twenty-five thousand  mental health professionals. Expanding the base of people equipped to manage mental illness is critical to address this gap. Primary care physicians can play an important role in bridging this gap, with adequate training in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of common mental disorders. They are also able to offer the first level of intervention in cases where people are hesitant about consulting mental health professionals.

About The Program

The program was focused on capacity building of primary care physicians in India and had two models : continuing medical education (CME) sessions and a certificate course in common mental disorders (CCCMD). 

Continuing Medical Education Model 

By partnering with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS), this model aimed to  provide adequate information to the participating medical practitioners, enabling them to effectively and sensitively treat  patients with mental health conditions. 

Psychiatrists conducted sessions for practicing general physicians & medical students and trained them in identification and treatment in mild and moderate cases. 

Certificate Course Model 

The certificate course, conducted online over five months, helped enhance the knowledge, skills and core competencies of primary care physicians in the identification, management and treatment of common mental disorders. It included high-quality training modules in Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

These were made available to participants in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Kolkata.

The program also helped to develop and update standard teaching protocols and modules for evidence-based learning, built a nationwide network of primary care physicians and specialists, as well as continually updated them with the latest advancements in the field of mental health.

  • Mode Of Delivery
  • Languages
  • Cities
    Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata

Qualitative Impact

  • Improvement in average knowledge of participants about identification, management and treatment of common mental disorders

  • Able to identify  an increased number of patients with common mental disorders in their clinical practice

  • Confident about applying the knowledge and skills gained

Certificate Course

  • Certificate Course in Common Mental Disorders (CCCMD)

Since Launch In 2016

  • Doctors Reached
    Across the country


The treatment gap in India is over 70%. According to WHO, by 2020, about 20% of the population will suffer from mental illnesses. PHFI is committed to addressing these challenges by training healthcare professionals through evidence-based practices and new advances in the field of health. Physicians are the first point of contact for any community member and hence it becomes important that they are trained to manage common mental health disorders. This course is an effort to integrate mental health into primary healthcare and facilitate patient-centric and holistic services.

Dr. Sandeep Bhalla - Advisor, Training Division, Public Health Foundation of India

Mental health must be aligned with primary care. Social stigma contributes to persons with mental illness being neglected around the world. People still believe that mental illness can only affect a small set of the population. However, India alone accounts for nearly 15% of global mental, neurological, and substance abuse disorders. In addition, there is a shortage of mental health professionals. Given this, AHPI has collaborated with TLLLF and PHFI to train primary care physicians in common mental disorders. This is a step towards tackling the increasing number of instances and treating them on time through accurate diagnosis.

Dr. Alexander Thomas, President, Association of Healthcare Providers

My knowledge about common mental disorders wasn't up to the mark, however, after understanding this training I feel confident to treat them. I'm a senior consultant physician dealing with common mental disorders regularly and I feel more competent in dealing with these disorders now.


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