Dr. Belfer is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and a Senior Associate in Psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he also co-directs the International Child Mental Health Observership program.
His research and policy leadership focuses on child and adolescent mental health in resource-limited and post-conflict settings. Dr. Belfer has conducted research on the relationship between stress and somatic illness, stress and immunological dysfunction, the impact of stress on children longitudinally, and the effect of substance abuse on functioning across the lifespan. He recently led a Needs Assessment for School-based Child Mental Health in Shanghai, China for the Harvard Center on the Developing Child and is now a consultant to the Shanghai Academy of Educational Sciences for the intervention program based on the findings of the needs assessment. In addition, he is a consultant to the Temasek Foundation (Singapore) for a child mental health capacity building project in Indonesia.
He has written on global child mental health policy, the magnitude of global child mental health problems and the need for ethical principles in research in low and middle-income countries. He previously served as Senior Adviser for Child and Adolescent Mental Health at the World Health Organization for five years.