Mental health conditions are common in the United States, yet the mental health workforce is limited in its capacity to reach disadvantaged populations. While a number of recent reviews demonstrate that community health worker (CHW)-supported physical health interventions are effective, and increase access to services, there are no recent reviews that systematically assess CHW-supported mental health interventions. To address this gap, the authors conducted a systematic review of mental health interventions with CHWs in the United States, and assessed the methodological rigor of such studies. Nine studies met review criteria. Though most of the studies reviewed showed inadequate methodological rigor, findings suggest CHW-supported mental health interventions show promise, particularly given evidence of feasibility and acceptability with underserved populations. The authors describe the rationale for mental health CHWs in the workforce, offer recommendations to strengthen the evidence base, and discuss implications of mental health interventions with CHWs for underserved populations.


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pp. 159-180
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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