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VCU researchers receive grant to investigate sustainment of mental health programs in schools

(Virginia Commonwealth University)
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 4:46 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) — VCU researchers have received a $3.1 million grant to investigate whether evidence-based mental health programs in schools continue after research support is removed.

“Researchers have developed a number of evidence-based programs that reduce the risk of children developing mental health disorders,” said co-principal investigator Bryce McLeod, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences. “However, these evidence-based programs are rarely sustained in schools once the research funding ends, which reduces the long-term impact of the programs. Research that identifies barriers to sustainment is thus needed.”

The study is called “Multilevel Determinants of Implementation and Sustainment in the Education Sector,” and will seek to address that gap by identifying teacher, intervention and school-level factors that influence sustainment, or whether teachers continue to use evidence-based practices.

“Long term we hope that the work will help us understand how to reduce the risk of children developing mental health disorders,” McLeod said.

The study will take place in elementary schools in Virginia and Florida.

For more information on the study, click here.

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