The New School for Social Research and George Washington University Join the Miller-Dwan Foundation to Launch New Program Designed to Address the Mental Health Provider Shortage

Adam Brown

New York, June 8, 2023—The New School for Social Research and George Washington University are joining Miller-Dwan Foundation for its week-long community-wide launch of PM+. PM+ is a short-term intervention provided by non-specialists, lay people or paraprofessionals who are trained to deliver critical mental health and psychosocial support no matter how severe someone’s problems are. The training is comprehensive and manualized, ensuring fidelity to the care model which promises effectiveness and safety.

Foundation President, Traci Marciniak will kick off the launch at 9:00 in the Split Rock conference room at the Sheraton Duluth Hotel, 301 East Superior Street with Adam Brown, Associate professor of Clinical Psychology and Vice Provost for Research from The New School for Social Research presenting PM+ at 10:00 am. Additional presenters include Brandon Korht, MD, PhD, Director of Global Mental Health at George Washington University, and Manaswi Sangraula and Kendall Pfeffer both of The New School of for Social Research. Area stakeholders, who will also be in attendance, will play key roles in selecting lay people from identified communities and integrating PM+ throughout the Twin Ports.

“PM+, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), empowers people by providing them with new ways to manage their problems,” says Miller-Dwan Foundation’s Sr. Mental Health Advisor, psychologist Rick Gertsema. “It meets them where they’re at both geographically and emotionally, and it’s backed by research and the guidance of leading mental health providers.”

“This is one way we can support those who may not necessarily seek the care they need,” says Marciniak. “We’re filling a critical gap here.”

Through Miller-Dwan Foundation’s partnership with the New School of Social Research and George Washington University, Duluth will join New York City as one of only two cities in the United States implementing the full PM+ program.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown is Associate Professor of Psychology at The New School for Social Research and Vice Provost for Research at The New School. He has extensive experience developing programs to promote mental health awareness, providing trainings, technical guidance, and support in the creation, implementation, and evaluation of scalable, evidence-based, culturally responsive mental health strategies that can delivered in a wide range of contexts by non-specialists. Head of the Trauma and Global Mental Health Lab and the Global Mental Health graduate minor, Dr. Brown focuses his research on the adaptation of mental health and psycho-social interventions that can be delivered globally by non-mental health professionals, and works closely with cross-sector partners to carry out this work. Additionally, he has extensive experience in the study of traumatic stress and the identification of factors that contribute to mental health risks and resilience. Dr. Brown is a co-founder and member of the Human Rights Resilience Project, an interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners carrying out research and creating tools to improve resilience and well-being in the human rights community. He has served as a consultant for organizations such as the United Nations, UNICEF, and Amnesty International. He is the recipient of grants from the National Institute of Health, USAID, Fulbright, and numerous private foundations. His work has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals and as book chapters.

Brandon Kohrt
Brandon Kohrt, MD, PhD, an anthropologist and psychiatrist, holds the Charles and Sonia Akman Professorship in Global Psychiatry at George Washington University, where he is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Global Health and Director of the Division of Global Mental Health. Dr. Kohrt has worked with children and families affected by war and political violence, disasters, and other forms of adversity in Nepal, Haiti, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Brazil, and Mongolia. Dr Kohrt has received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Fulbright Program, the United Kingdom Medical Research Council, the World Health Organization, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Kohrt serves as the Scientific Co-Chair of the Health Research in Humanitarian Crises initiative at the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health. He is also the scientific advisor for the World Health Organization’s EQUIP program which is establishing global competency standards for non-specialists delivering psychological interventions.


The Miller-Dwan Foundation is the only independent, public medical foundation in the region, and as a public charity, it maintains a commitment to the health of the Twin Ports and surrounding region. The Miller-Dwan Foundation has recently recommitted our efforts to mental health and physical rehabilitation and are owners of Amberwing – Center for Youth and Family Well-Being and Solvay Hospice House.

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.




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Media Contacts:

The New School
Merrie Snead
[email protected]

Miller-Dwan Foundation
Traci Marciniak

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