In 2003 the first TAAAC program, the Toronto Addis Ababa Psychiatry Project (TAAPP), an educational collaboration between the Departments of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto (UofT) and AAU, facilitated the opening of the first Ethiopian psychiatry residency program.

  • As of 2022, over 100 Ethiopian psychiatrists have trained with the assistance of TAAPP – there are now 113 in the country.
  • Three other psychiatry residency training programs have opened in the country. 
  • Six new Departments of Psychiatry opened outside Addis Ababa.
  • With others in the Department of Psychiatry, AAU, we assisted in developing the National Mental Health Strategy of Ethiopia, which highlights the need for the integration of psychiatric services into all levels of health care (2012). 
  • The first Clinical Masters of Psychology has opened in the Department of Psychiatry (2018). 
  • The first Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship opened in the country (2019). 

TAAPP the Model

  • Two UofT faculty and a resident travel to AAU twice a year for a month to teach a pre-negotiated curriculum, which includes significant time for on-site clinical supervision.
  • During the 30 months of COVID-19, we continued with virtual teaching trips twice a year.
  • CanMED roles have been adapted to EthioMEDS
  • Selected Department of Psychiatry faculty at AAU have the opportunity to undertake a one year clinical fellowship thanks to Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, an affiliated UofT hospital.
  • In 2014 the first Mental Health Court and Diversion Program was established in Sub Saharan Africa in Addis Ababa, to address the length of prison stay forensic psychiatric patients must wait for a psychiatry assessment. This was possible as a result of UofT forensic psychiatry involvement
  • In 2015 forensic psychiatrist Dr Phil Klassen at Ontario Shores, with Dr Asnake Lemma AAU facilitated the establishment of a Mental Health Court with a Diversion Program in Addis Ababa for the severely mentally ill who are found not criminally responsible. This was a first for Africa.
  • There have been 44 one month training trips to AAU involving over 70 UofT faculty psychiatrists and 41 residents.
  • TAAPP has won seven awards – the most prestigious is the American College of Psychiatrists’ Award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education.
  • We have obtained six research grants – topics include integrating MH training and research into Primary Health; developing SGBV training and services into selected refugee camps in Ethiopia.
  • In 2018 and 2019 Grand Challenges Canada grants enabled the initiation of mental health services into two refugee camps in Western Ethiopia, by establishing one-month rotations for psychiatry residents at AAU. In 2021, the Ethiopian Government funded an extension of the project to all five Assosa refugee camps as an established program. 

Program Contact Information

Dr Lisa Andermann