The presentation will identify lessons learned from successful capacity-building initiatives in mental health services for poor regions around the globe. Systematic capacity-building needs to be locally acceptable, sustainable, and scalable. It is underlined by a human rights approach and involves multi-level local partnerships and disciplines. Task shifting and delineation of care pathways with clear decision rules are essential. Systematic training-of -trainers procedures involve selection and competency criteria for specialist and non-specialist providers and supervisors. Potential applications of these findings to capacity-building in core areas of rehabilitation medicine will be discussed.