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Research & Evaluation

The NCSMH leads innovation in comprehensive school mental health systems designing and evaluating cutting-edge programs, practices and policies to advance high impact outcomes for youth, families, educators and communities.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

Project Staff:

  • Mark Weist, PhD, University of South Carolina, Principal Investigator
  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Principal Investigator
  • Brittany Patterson, PhD, Co-Investigator
  • Jen Cox, MSW, LSCW-C, Clinical Supervisor
  • Sam Reaves, PhD
  • Jordy Yarnell, PhD

Funding Source:

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Project Description:

The purpose of this project is to conduct a randomized trial of two packages of school-based, evidence-based interventions, one with enhancements in family and educator engagement, to determine the relative impact on student outcomes. The study involves a partnership with 20 middle schools, 10 in Maryland and 10 in South Carolina, with interventions supporting students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Intervention schools will have educators implementing mental health literacy and parent leaders working to to enhance family engagement and reduce mental health stigma.

Contact:

Brittany Patterson, bpatterson@som.umaryland.edu

Evaluating Promising School Staff and Resource Officer Approaches for Reducing Harsh Discipline, Suspensions and Arrests (Project ASSIST)

Project Staff:

  • Cindy Schaeffer, PhD, Principal Investigator
  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Jill Bohnenkamp, PhD, Co-Investigator
  • Kris Scardamalia, PhD, Project Coordinator
  • Yourdanos Bekele, BA, Research Assistant

Funding Source:

U.S. Department of Justice National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Comprehensive School Safety Initiative – “Demonstration, Evaluation, and Validation Tests for School Safety”

Project Partners:

Cecil County Public Schools

Project Description:

Cecil County Public Schools is partnering with the NCSMH to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention package in reducing exclusionary discipline practices. Interventions include trauma support for students, training in de-escalation techniques for school staff and school resource officers, implementation of a graduated discipline and restorative practice model at secondary schools, and training for school resource officers on child development and mental health. Outcome measures will include suspension/expulsion rates, referrals to juvenile justice, and ratings of school climate. NCSMH is coordinating implementation with a team from Cecil County Public Schools and will be evaluating the effectiveness of the interventions as well the providing a cost-benefit analysis.

Contact:

Kris Scardamalia, kscardamalia@som.umaryland.edu

Brief Intervention for School Clinicians (BRISC)

Project Staff:

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Principal Investigator
  • Megan Prass, BS, Research Assistant

Funding Source:

Institute for Education Sciences (IES) grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Education

Project Partners:  

University of Washington SMART Center, Wilder Center in Minnesota, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public Schools

Project Description:

The National Center for School Mental Health is collaborating with the University of Washington as one of three sites (Maryland, Minnesota, Washington) to test the efficacy of the Brief Intervention for School Clinicians. The BRISC intervention is evidence-based and is designed to promote the social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes of high school students via its implementation by school-based clinicians. The NCSMH is coordinating all of the research activities for the Maryland intervention site, which spans 14 high schools in Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City. Research activities include the training of school-based clinicians, recruitment of participants, data collection and organization, and evaluating the impact of the intervention.

Contact:

Megan Prass, mprass@som.umaryland.edu

Kaiser Permanente Resilience in School Environments (KP RISE)

Project Staff:

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Principal Investigator
  • Jill Bohnenkamp, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Dana Cunningham, PhD, Social Emotional Evaluation Liaison  
  • Joanna Prout, PhD, Research Manager
  • Sam Reaves, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Karah Palmer, MEd, Research Coordinator

Funding Source:

Kaiser Permanente

Project Partners:

Los Angeles Educational Partnership
Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Project Description:

In collaboration with Kaiser Permanente, the NCSMH is performing an evaluation of the Resilience in School Environments (RISE) nationwide by collecting information about the implementation and effectiveness of trauma-informed training and policy in a total of 40 schools. The evaluation includes measures of staff and student well-being, school climate, and the extent to which school policies and procedures align with recommended practices for trauma-informed care.

Contact:

Jill Bohnenkamp, jbohnenk@som.umaryland.edu.

Promoting School Safety: A Comprehensive Emotional and Behavioral Health Model (EBH-CRP)

Project Staff:

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Jill Bohnenkamp, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Eric Slade, PhD, Co-Investigator
  • Cindy Schaeffer, PhD, Co-Investigator

Funding Source:

U.S. Department of Justice National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Comprehensive School Safety Initiative- “Developing Knowledge about What Works to Make Schools Safe”

Project Partners:

Baltimore County Public Schools

Project Description:

Baltimore County Public Schools is partnering with the NCSMH to conduct a randomized controlled trial of the impact of the Comprehensive Emotional and Behavioral Health Crisis Response and Prevention Intervention (EBH-CRP) on school safety. The EBH-CRP intervention is a comprehensive training, organization and support protocol for schools and communities to strengthen their ability to serve students’ mental health needs. The services included in the EBH-CRP intervention will include universal prevention, early identification, assessment and service linkage, crisis response and post crisis relapse prevention. NCSMH is the research partner for this trial and will evaluate the impact of this large scale, multi-faceted mental health focused intervention on school safety outcomes.

Contact:

Jill Bohnenkamp. jbohnenk@som.umaryland.edu.

 

Improving Student Mental Health through Classroom-Based Social-Emotional Learning (SELF)

Project Staff:

  • Kris Scardamalia, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator

Funding Source:

Betty Huse Foundation

Project Description:

This new initiative builds on previous work by the NCSMH in partnership with the Baltimore County Public Schools to identify the “common components” of evidence-based SEL and Positive School Climate programs. This project will develop a modularized SEL curriculum designed with teachers’ specific needs in mind, primarily lack of preparation time and lack of non-academic classroom time. The modular approach increases the flexibility in choice of lesson topic and provides customization of the SEL schedule for weekly lessons. Increased flexibility is hypothesized to increase teacher usage of the curriculum. This design will be evaluated for the acceptability and feasibility in a small group of local elementary schools.

Contact:

Kris Scardamalia, kscardamalia@som.umaryland.edu

Maryland Healthy Transitions (MD-HT)

Project Title:

Maryland Healthy Transitions (MD-HT)

Project Staff:

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Principal Investigator
  • Joanna Prout, PhD, Research Manager
  • Perrin Robinson, MS, Research Specialist
  • Sylvia Huntley, DEd, Outreach & Education Coordinator
  • Megan Prass, BA, Research Assistant

Funding Source:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Project Partners:

Maryland Behavioral Health Administration

Project Description:

MD-HT is a five-year grant funded by SAMHSA through the Now Is The Time initiative. The target population is transition-aged youth (TAY) between the ages of 16-25 with a serious mental health condition that impairs functioning. University of Maryland Baltimore conducts the program evaluation, in addition to providing outreach and education support. Each TAY works with a Transition Facilitator to create an individualized treatment plan. MD-HT goals include supporting TAY in in successfully transitioning to adult roles through supported employment, supported education and linking TAY to relevant services and supports.

Contact:

Perrin Robinson, probinso@som.umaryland.edu

The Mental Health Training Intervention for Health Providers in Schools (MH-TIPS)

Project Staff:

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Principal Investigator
  • Jill Bohnenkamp, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Elizabeth Connors, PhD, Co-Investigator

Project Partners:

National Association of School Nurses, Center for Mental Health Services in Pediatric Primary Care at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Sacramento State University School of Nursing

Project Description:

The Mental Health Training Intervention for Health Providers in Schools (MH-TIPS) is an innovative in-service training and implementation support system for school nurses and other school health providers aimed at enhancing their competence in managing the needs of students with or at risk for emotional and behavioral difficulties that interfere with learning.  MH-TIPS was developed by the NCSMH in partnership with the National Association of School Nurses and the Center for Mental Health Services in Pediatric Primary Care at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The MH-TIPS training program includes core training content components linked to the context of school health providers with respect to student mental health issues including:

  • Strategies and Skills to Promote Positive and Supportive Interactions for Student Mental Health Issues
  • Mental Health Identification and Assessment
  • Mental Health Referral and Resource Mapping
  • Mental Health Crisis Response and Safety Assessment
  • Mental Health Intervention Best Practices for Delivery by School Health Providers
  • Psychotropic Medication

The entire MH-TIPS training course is available online at https://mdbehavioralhealth.com/training. The MH-TIPS Interactive Online Platform includes:

  • Implementation training videos
  • School health provider mental health video vignettes
  • Downloadable resources and tools
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Interviews with experts
  • Opportunity to earn continuing education credits

Publication on MH-TIPS:

Bohnenkamp, J. H., Hoover, S. A., Connors, E. H., Wissow, L., Bobo, N., & Mazyck, D. (2018). The mental health training intervention for school nurses and other health providers in schools. The Journal of School Nursing, 1059840518785437. https://doi.org/10.1177/1059840518785437

Contact:

Jill Bohnenkamp, jbohnenk@som.umaryland.edu.

Telemental Health In Schools

Project Staff:

  • David Pruitt, MD, Principal Investigator
  • Jennifer Cox, MSW, Clinician, Associate Director
  • Kelly Willis, MSW, Clinician, Assistant Director
  • Nancy Lever, PhD, Faculty Consultant
  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Faculty Consultant

Funding Source:

Maryland Department of Health

Project Partners:

University of Maryland School Mental Health Program

Project Description:

The integration of telepsychiatry into school-based mental health has the potential to increase access to services and improve efficiency of service delivery. However, very few programs that focus on school-based telepsychiatry exist. The University of Maryland School Mental Health Program (SMHP) began providing mental health services in 1989. The SMHP currently provides universal mental health promotion, early identification, prevention and intervention services in 27 Baltimore City Public Schools. Since 2014 the SMHP has been a component of the UM Child and Adolescent Child Psychiatry Fellowship and has trained 2nd year psychiatry fellows in school mental health service provision. Psychiatry fellows are assigned to 2-3 school sites and work in partnership with school mental health clinicians to provide psychiatric services within a comprehensive, multi-tiered system of support. There are approximately 7 fellows and 20 clinicians who serve 27 schools. Fellows provide direct care psychiatry and support a comprehensive, multi-tiered system of mental health promotion, prevention and intervention supports via a blend of in-person and telepsychiatry. The SMHP has collected program evaluation data to inform quality improvement for many years. The current project is funded by the Maryland Department of Health to understand psychiatrists’ productivity, effectiveness, expectations and experiences providing school-based telepsychiatry in order to inform ongoing expansion and improvements of school telepsychiatry service models.

Contact:

Elizabeth Connors, elizabeth.connors@yale.edu

State Opioid Response Evaluation (SOR)

Project Staff:

  • Sharon Hoover, PhD, Evaluation Principal Investigator
  • Joanna Prout, PhD, Research Manager
  • Marie Yuille, BA, Research Specialist
  • Elissa Robinson, BA, Research Assistant
  • Sumer Rahe, BA, Research Assistant
  • Megan Prass, BS, Research Assistant

Funding Source:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Project Partners:

Maryland Behavioral Health Administration

Project Description:

The University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry is conducting the client-level evaluation of MD-SOR. MD-SOR addresses the opioid crisis in Maryland by increasing access to medication-assisted treatment and reducing opioid overdose related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment, and recovery activities for opioid use disorder (OUD). The UM SOM will interview clients receiving interventions for OUD across the state of Maryland at the initiation of treatment, 3 months following treatment initiation, 6 months following treatment initiation, and at discharge from treatment. These interviews will include questions about clients’ substance use and well-being across domains including physical and mental health, relationships with others and connections in the community, and education and employment. This information which will be used to examine the impact of OUD treatment services including the identification of service gaps and areas in need of quality improvement. The Maryland State Opioid Response (MD-SOR) GPRA Evaluation Resources is available for providers.

Contact:

Marie Yuille, myuille@som.umaryland.edu

Smart Choices (Gambling Prevention in Schools)

Project Staff:

  • Brittany Patterson, PhD, Principal Investigator

Project Description:

In partnership with the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, the NCSMH is implementing and evaluating a youth gambling prevention program in several Baltimore City schools for students in grades 5, 7, 8 and 12.

Contact:

Brittany Patterson, bpatterson@som.umaryland.edu