This study is a NIMH-funded R01 that examines the effectiveness of paraprofessionals as navigators for children’s mental health services, in contrast with case managers and waitlist without navigation. This study is in collaboration with three social service agencies serving children and families from high poverty Chicago neighborhoods.
This project is a collaboration with Urban Initiatives, a citywide non-profit foundation that utilizes soccer and active play to promote youth physical and mental health in resource-scarce neighborhoods. The project employs an iterative collaborative approach to enhance the organizational capacity of UI to impact youth physical and mental health by strengthening their workforce development practices.
Our team has been collaborating with the Chicago Park District for the past decade to develop and implement strategies that capitalize on the inherent opportunities present in recreation to support and promote children’s mental health. Leaders @ Play was a program designed to promote mental health for participating adolescents and support healthy behavioral, social, and emotional functioning among younger children. Leaders @ Play examined the capacity of parks to facilitate social and emotional skills among youth and support youth to reach developmentally and culturally appropriate milestones, including healthy relationships, school success, and acquisition of workforce skills. Adolescents participated in weekly trainings with an evidence-informed curriculum that utilized sports and recreation to introduce and reinforce skills in problem solving, emotion regulation, and effective communication. The final iteration of Leaders @ Play was implemented in five parks during the summer of 2016.
For more information on Leaders@Play please click here.
In collaboration with a large state entity, two virtual professional learning communities (VPLCs) were developed to support community mental health providers following a 12-month evidence-based practices (EBP) training. This project examined the VPLC feasibility and potential to enhance communication among providers, a possible mechanism to sustain effective practices, utilizing a social network framework.