On May 26, 2021 North America’s first Low-Intensity CBT [LICBT] training program held its commencement ceremony in California’s Pomona Valley. Low-intensity CBT is a global movement aimed at increasing access to mental health care by means of training laypeople to deliver quality care for pennies on the dollar that such care usually costs. The program launched in January of this year as a partnership between Uncommon Good and All Things CBT. Mexico City trainer Victoria Chicurel provided 40 hours of online training to 20 Latinx immigrant women. In the first 20 hours, these future community mental health workers, or promotoras, learned evidence-based cognitive and behavioral tools to address anxiety and depression. In the second 20 hours they were taught to deliver Low-Intensity TEAM CBT to others in their communities.
At the start of the program we measured trainees’ moods using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, a common measure of emotional wellness. This week we again administered the Warwick and found massive improvement in a mood at a very high level of statistical significance (p = .005). In other words our promotoras went from feeling “very poorly” to feeling “very well” in the course of 10 weeks training. Such significance is particularly impressive given our relatively small sample size.
I spoke recently with one of my newest colleagues, promotora Cecilia Martinez, about her experience of the training and the successful treatment of her first patient. Please sit in on our chat.