Training to Help Bridge the Treatment Gap

Diverse group of women smiling


ENGAGE is a scalable solution that increases capacity and effectiveness by creating a skilled, rigorously trained, and properly supervised workforce to help close the mental health and substance use treatment gap among underserved populations.

Many organizations and clinics providing mental health care do not have the capacity to see all the people seeking their services, resulting in long wait lists. ENGAGE is a collaborative initiative between the Columbia University Irving Medical Center's Department of Psychiatry and the New York State Office of Mental Health to increase access and provide culturally appropriate mental health and substance use interventions to historically underserved populations in New York City.  The mission is to improve quality of life by training a lay workforce to:

  • Screen for mental health and substance use conditions
  • Deliver interventions to those who otherwise would not get effective care
  • Connect individuals to resources that improve economic conditions

ENGAGE is a partnership between researchers, clinicians, and community partners to build community capacity for mental health and substance use services as well as economic support.  In so doing, it also offers the potential to create new career paths for community members.