Harnessing the power of primary care
for mental health services in the Dominican Republic

View Project Gallery >>

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay is an advocate for mental health and wellness and a millennial philanthropist. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Bruce C. Abrams Foundation. As Executive Director, Lindsay looks to fund projects and organizations that combine innovative and scalable approaches to support mental health education, research, and services worldwide. In addition to her role at the foundation, Lindsay is the Co-Founder/Co-Chair of NEXUS’s Mental Health and Wellness Lab.

Download Complete Bio >>

The Issue

In the Dominican Republic, up to 40% of the population needs mental health care, yet less than 1% of the national health care budget goes to mental health services.

Mental health conditions are among the world's leading causes of poor health and disability. In the Dominican Republic (DR), mental health services are under-funded and under-resourced. Widespread misconceptions about the nature and causes of mental health conditions compound with stigma and discrimination to prevent people from accessing the services they need. Health providers often lack the training, resources, and empathy to offer quality care.

Pilot And Learn

This project aims to increase demand for and access to mental health services through the public and private sectors in the Dominican Republic.

Through a partnership with the Dominican Ministry of Health, PSI will train public and private sector health providers in how to give quality care for mental health services, develop and test virtual tools to increase demand for these services, and use mass communications strategies to improve knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs in the general public to reduce stigma and discrimination around mental health conditions.

Leverage And Scale

The insights and lessons learned from this project will be integrated into both the public and private health service sectors across the Dominican Republic.

This project will reinvigorate the Ministry of Health’s campaign to reduce stigma and discrimination around mental health by developing evidenced-based strategies and materials that can be used in communities across the country. With one in four people globally experiencing a mental health condition in his or her lifetime, this project will demonstrate elements of a successful model that integrates mental health services into quality care.