The Links Center: Leading Innovations for Neighborhoods, Kids and Schools

PI: Marc Atkins, PhD

This center will study models for school-based mental health services for urban low-income children and families that are guided by empirical evidence for schooling as critical for children’s social and emotional adjustment, and by evidence for the direct and indirect benefits of academic achievement for children’s mental health. A primary goal for this center is that aligning mental health resources to support children’s learning will lead to stronger mental health outcomes for children, relative to mental health services as usual. This center is consistent with recent calls for a contextually relevant understanding of children’s mental health needs and capacities, and responds to the need for accessible, effective, and sustainable mental health services in impoverished and under-served communities. The goal for this developing center grant is to inform research on the conditions that are necessary to promote the mental health of children living in poverty. The center will address gaps in knowledge related to improving access to effective services for children and families and will examine the implementation of prevention and intervention models that address risk factors for children’s mental health difficulties.


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