Date of Award

Fall 2020

Degree Type



Public Health

Director of Thesis

Kimberly Becker, Ph.D.

Second Reader

Wendy Chu, B.A.


The mental health treatment gap in India is part of a growing public health crisis, with over 95% of those in need of services never receiving them. Over 197 million Indians suffer from at least one diagnosable mental health disorder, and this number continues to grow given the treatment gap. The treatment gap is a result of four major factors: lack of government support, stigma, limited treatment facilities, and the dearth of professionals able to provide treatment. The current study aimed to analyze several factors of paraprofessional led mental health interventions including setting, treatments delivered, treatment models, and client outcomes. A narrative literature review was conducted synthesizing the current available research on paraprofessional mental health interventions in India. Paraprofessionals were found to be a plausible solution to mitigating the treatment gap for several reasons. They were able to conduct treatment in multiple settings, deliver proven treatments for multiple disorders, reduce stigma surrounding mental health, and add to the workforce. These findings provide support for paraprofessional led interventions and their potential for treating the Indian population.

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