- Global Mental Health meets Social Innovation

In this program, we provide a space for cross-cultural exchange with Global Mental Health and Social Innovation partners from the United States, Ghana, Kenya and Germany. 

Participants attend an integrative introductory course on Global Mental Health and Design Thinking to empower them to become future changemakers in their community’s mental health ecosystem. 


The European Union’s Erasmus+ program is a funding scheme to support activities in Education, Training, Youth and Sport (find out more at 

Both co-directors of On The Move e.V. are alumni of Technical University (TU) Dresden. We have been working with the university and affiliated partners, such as the Leonardo-Büro Sachsen closely. The Leonardo-Büro Sachsen offers around 400 scholarships per year for internships abroad. Some of these internships are funded by Erasmus+. On The Move e.V. can use some of the Erasmus+ funds to support German Ph.D. students and staff members to go to our partner institutions in Ghana and Kenya. Equally important, we can also support Ghanaian and Kenyan Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate level students as well as staff members from our partner institutions to come to Germany. We would like to take this opportunity to introduce our partners in Germany, Ghana, and Kenya.   

We support in- and out-going participants (see point below) financially and administratively. We also provide hands-on supervision. 

General Information and Set-Up

Erasmus+ mobilities are not primarily designed to support research. While each mobility can have a research component, the main focus lies on learning and applying social innovation methods and community-based mental health prevention, care, and rehabilitation approaches (as modeled by On The Move e.V. and its partners in Germany, Ghana, and Kenya).  

Given the complexity of mental health disorders and the need to take a holistic approach to solve mental health challenges, we encourage students and staff members with diverse backgrounds to apply for Erasmus+ mobilities. Sustainable mental health care innovations involve medical professionals and participants with training in business/finance, history, anthropology, sociology, culture, education, and so on.  

Content Overview

A) For students/staff members coming from Ghana and Kenya to Germany (incoming participants) 

We will offer: 

60-day programs for students (Block 1, 2, and 3), usually in the summer time  

21-day programs for faculty members and university staff members (Block 2) 

In weeks 1-3 (1st block), the course will build a global mental health and social innovation foundation and incorporate peer teaching approaches. We will also discuss two case studies of community mental health interventions: the German Mental Health Allyship program (with focus on the design process) and the Brain Spirit Desk from Ghana (with focus on the design process and the content).  

Weeks 4-6 (2nd block) will be dedicated to developing a community-based mental health innovation. The 2nd block will end with a presentation of the participants’ „product;“ social innovation and mental health experts will provide feedback.   

Based on the feedback from the end of the 2nd block, participants will make adjustments to their designed community-based mental health innovation in weeks 7-8 (3rd block). Upon completion of week 8, the participants will submit their final product, which our expert panel will re-evaluate. If the product is feasible and sustainable, we will provide start-up funding to the participants or help the participants brainstorm where to get start-up funding from. 

Program for Ghanaian and Kenyan applicants (students and staff members) 

Learning objectives 

1.) Explain core concepts of global mental health and social innovation 

2.) Describe examples of community-based mental health interventions  

3.) Inventory your community’s mental health needs  

4.) Design a community-based mental health intervention that is tailored to your community’s mental health needs  

At the end of the course, we also want the participants to be a leader in the mental health field in their respective communities.  

B) For students/staff members going from Germany to Ghana and Kenya (outgoing participants) 

Generally, outgoing TUD Ph.D. students from Germany can be received in Ghana and Kenya by partner country higher educational institutions (University of Ghana, Ashesi University, or Maseno University) or country public or private organizations (such as Ketu South District Hospital, Tinada Youth Organization, or Kisumu County Government) for internships. The same institutions can receive TU Dresden staff members for training purposes. Outgoing participants will also have the chance to discuss individual projects and learning objectives with hosting institutions of higher education and project partners in Ghana and Kenya. For example, participants could work with our partners in Ghana and Kenya on existing projects, such as Brain Awareness or Home of Brains. They could also work on mental health policies with government stakeholders. 

Erasmus+ participants design community-based mental health interventions