Academic Initiative

Partners in Behavioral Health Sciences — Phase I and II

Program Overview

  • The major goal of this program Partners In Behavioral Health Sciences (PIBHS) is to develop and evaluate a science-based educational program on the biology etiology prevention and treatment of mental illness through a partnership of researchers clinicians and primary and secondary educators and school personnel. This program will consist of Phase I and Phase II. In Phase I six modules will be developed focusing on mental health disorders with substantial scientific grounding high rates of prevalence and severity and/or availability of evidence-based treatments. This program will target three populations: teachers and school personnel students and the general public. The educational design will include summer teaching sessions presentations at statewide meetings interactive tele-video sessions collaboration with the science museum student internships as well as the development of teacher tool kits classroom resources computer assisted interactive programs videotapes and other experiential learning materials. Phase I will also consist of a two-tiered evaluation in which changes in knowledge attitudes and behaviors of participants will be monitored through pre- and post-course surveys. A more intensive evaluation is also proposed using a controlled match research design in which the effectiveness of the educational program will be tested by evaluation outcomes in participating and nonparticipating schools. Regional dissemination will occur in this phase through partnerships with statewide school personnel science museum curators and other professional associations. In Phase II the investigators will engage in widespread dissemination through established networks in southern rural states and collaborations with national organizations. This application proposes to address the following specific objectives: 1) improve awareness of the technological advances in the recognition prevention and treatment of mental disorders in K-12 teachers student and the general public; 2) reduce stigma by dispelling myths about mental illness; 3) enhance access to mental health services for students and teachers; and 4) increase student interest in the science of mental illness. This program is designed to reflect a cultural and ethnic sensitivity to minorities and children.

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