Innovative Models in Mental Health Delivery Systems: Task Sharing Care with Non-specialist Providers to Close the Mental Health Treatment Gap

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2019 Apr 30;21(6):44. doi: 10.1007/s11920-019-1028-x.


Purpose of review: Most people do not have access to adequate mental health care, and lack of skilled human resources is a major factor. We provide a narrative review of approaches to implementing task sharing-engaging non-specialist providers-to deliver mental health care.

Recent findings: There is strong evidence both for the effectiveness of task sharing as a means of delivering care for a range of conditions across settings and for the effectiveness of non-specialist providers and health workers in delivering elements of culturally adapted psychosocial and psychological interventions for common and severe mental disorders. Key approaches to facilitate task sharing of care include balanced care, collaborative care, sustained training and supervision, use of trans-diagnostic interventions based on a dimensional approach to wellness and illness, and the use of emerging digital technologies. Non-specialist providers and health workers are well positioned to deliver evidence-based interventions for mental disorders, and a variety of delivery approaches can support, facilitate, and sustain this innovation. These approaches should be used, and evaluated, to increase access to mental health services.

Keywords: Common mental disorders; Digital technologies; Health care delivery; Non-specialist health workers; Severe mental disorders; Task sharing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Workers*
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Team
  • Psychotherapy