Meet the Team



The ACCESS Lab is located at the University of South Florida in the School of Social Work.


The Problem:

Globally, about 14% of the burden disease is mental health related(1)—largely depression and anxiety—yet in high-income countries, 50% of people receive no care; in low-and middle-income countries, 85% go without care(2), creating a “mental health care gap. “This mental health care gap translates into millions of people being unable to achieve good health and wellbeing and holds the world back from long term sustainable development(3).

A primary reason for the mental health care gap is the lack of trained individuals to deliver mental health care services, with an estimated 1 specialized mental health worker per 10,000 people worldwide in 2017. Increasing the specialized mental health care workforce is important, but insufficient to meet the immediate and rising need for services. Novel, low-cost and scalable solutions are urgently required to deliver quality mental health care to those in need today.

What we do:

The USF Social Work ACCESS Lab researches and implements evidence-based, low-intensity psychological interventions to treat depression and anxiety in under-resourced settings where little to no mental health services exist. These interventions are called “low intensity” because they require less resources to implement and can be delivered by laypeople with no previous training in mental health. Guided by community-, human rights- and justice-based frameworks, the ACCESS lab helps the most vulnerable communities identify and sustainably implement efficacious interventions to treat common mental disorders.


  1. Prince, M., Patel, V., Saxena, S., Maj, M., Maselko, J., Phillips, M. R., & Rahman, A.(2007). No health without mental health. The Lancet, 370(9590), 859-877. 

  2. World Health Organization.

  3. The Global Goals for Sustainable Development