Our Partnership Program

Brio enables access to quality mental health care in low-resource contexts by partnering with local organizations to design community-owned models of care. Through our partnership program and mental health design toolkit, we help leaders of human service organizations to take their initiatives from initial concept to effectiveness and sustainability.

Year 1: Pilot Year

  • We work with the participant and their community to assess and define the problem they hope to solve. This includes initial needs assessments, focus groups, and interviews. 
  • Using our findings and principles of human-centered design, we help develop a pilot program. During the program, participants have access to our strategy and clinical expertise. If needed, participants can apply for small grants for the pilot. 

Years 2-5: Implementation and Expansion

  • Each subsequent year, we create clear goals for the partnership to help expand on the pilot. This stage depends heavily on the community’s specific needs. Each partnership is required to measure effectiveness and adapt. 
  • As the partnership’s impact grows, we support long-term strategy in growing a team, generating revenue, applying for larger grants, training stakeholders, and more. 
  • Throughout the partnership, we support participants by convening like-minded leaders, experts with relevant experience, and our own expertise.

Our toolkit

While much of mental health design requires customization, we have created a mental health design toolkit that combines the best of clinical practice, psychological research, and human-centered design principles. We use the processes in our toolkit with each partner.

In 2019, we received an initial grant from the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation to make this toolkit a digital resource available to organizations everywhere. We are excited to make this toolkit available in August 2020, so stay tuned!


Here’s why it works.

Mental health requires long-term community-owned models. We believe in local leadership to develop and ultimately drive these models forward. Community leaders possess the contextual expertise, trust, and social capital required for long-lasting and impactful work.

Through our collaborative approach, Brio contributes key inputs as necessary: a design process, toolkit, strategic and clinical expertise, evaluation, and plans for sustainability. The result of this collaboration is a proven, effective model that is available to vulnerable populations and training that brings revenue for our partners. Once the hands-on partnership program has ended, partners join our global network for continued collaboration.

Each community solution addresses key components of a functioning mental health system. Once the specific mental health need is identified, we apply Brio’s framework to the solution that is designed. With each partnership, we have three aims:

  • Capacity building: training made available for locals to develop skills to address the issue at every level.
  • Awareness, promotion, or prevention: increasing accessibility to information about the issue, at times in the form of education, stigma reduction, or prevention.
  • Resources, treatment, and support: building programs and initiatives that are easily accessible to those who need it, including counseling, treatment, and ongoing psychological support.