Community-based integration of a digital mental health intervention in Pakistan


The project WellPak is conducted to alleviate the significant mental health burden in low-and middle-income countries. It is a collaboration between the Leibniz Institute of Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS, Ulm University, the Ethno-Medical Center in Hannover, Germany, and Fazaia Medical College in Pakistan.
Mental health disorders are the second leading cause of morbidity globally, and the leading cause of morbidity in Pakistan. Most individuals do not have proper mental health treatment, and a key issue is a lack of skilled human resources. There is substantial evidence for the effectiveness of non-specialist providers and lay health professionals in delivering parts of culturally appropriate psychosocial and psychological therapies for common and severe mental disorders. A range of delivery options, particularly the utilization of emerging digital technologies, can help to support, facilitate, and sustain task sharing and close the mental health treatment gap. This project aims to operationalize the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Plan for priority mental disorders by digitally adapting a transdiagnostic mental health intervention and by supporting delivery to the community through community health workers. It will do so by bringing together researchers and civil society actors from high-income countries and low-and middle-income countries.

WellPak has the following aims:
  • 1. To adapt WHO’s Problem Management Plus (PM+) intervention into a technology-assisted delivery through community health workers within Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan.
  • 2. To enhance the adaptation of a digital platform that is fully integrated into the routine work of lady health workers and assists in the delivery, monitoring, and supervision of PM+ sessions given to individuals with common mental conditions.
  • 3. To test the feasibility of technology-assisted PM+ for common mental health conditions delivered into the community settings of Islamabad capital Territory through lay health workers.
  • 4. To engage the policy environment and advocate for integration, larger scale piloting, and finally scaling up of the intervention.
  • 5. To build and strengthen the capacity of early-career public health researchers and community health workers in Pakistan.

Funding period

Begin:   August 2021
End:   December 2023


  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research


Prof. Dr. med. Hajo Zeeb