Parents & Families

Program Description

Front-line professionals can serve a key role in treatment of mental illness in parents and children and in mitigating the impact of parental mental illness on child development and behavior.

Through the use of evidence-based research and training programs we strive to increase the knowledge and skills of physicians, attorneys, law enforcement, school and court personnel and the systems they work in.

We focus on:

  • Research and training to improve the identification and management of depression in pregnant and postpartum women
  • Research and training to improve the identification and assessment of trauma in children
  • Research, intervention development, and training to improve outcomes and enhance recovery of parents with mental illness
 
Research Bar
griffin_research_thumbNancy Byatt, D.O., M.B.A.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Obstetrics and Gynecology
biebel_research_thumb Kathleen Biebel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
wenz_gross_research_thumbMelodie Wenz Gross, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
griffin_research_thumb Jessica Griffin, Psy.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Pediatrics
 Joanne Nicholson, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry

 

Ongoing Research Projects

Integrating Trauma-Informed & Trauma-Focused Practice in Child Protected Service

Title: Integrating Trauma-Informed & Trauma-Focused Practice in Child Protected Service
Dates:
9/1/2011 - 8/31/2016
Funder: Administration for Children & Families
Funding: $189,380
PI: Jessica Ludy Griffin, Psy.D.

Description: UMass will comply with all aspects of the project documented in the Department of Children and Families award from Administration of Children and Families (ACF) Children's Bureau as assigned to the University of Massachusetts Medical School. UMASS will provide a minimum of three (3) trainings utilizing the Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) model and a minimum of 72 consultation calls. UMass Medical School will also provide trauma informed trainings based on the NCTSN Resource Parent Curriculum and Child Welfare Toolkit, and 10 trauma-informed trainings will also take place.

Integrating Trauma-Informed & Trauma Focused Practice in Child Protected Service - Evaluation

Title: Integrating Trauma-Informed & Trauma Focused Practice in Child Protected Service - Evaluation
Dates:
 9/1/2011 - 8/31/2016
Funder: Administration for Children & Families
Funding: $352,000
PI: Melodie Wenz Gross, Ph.D.

Description: UMMS will provide project evaluation as outlined in the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families grant application to the Administration of Children and Families Children's Bureau. UMass will provide data entry and support to the project to the extent necessary to comply with the data and evaluation expectations of the Administration of Children and Families Children's Bureau. 

The University of Massachusetts Child Trauma Training Center

Title: The University of Massachusetts Child Trauma Training Center
Dates:
9/30/2012 - 9/29/2016
Funder: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Funding: $1,597,310
PI: Jessica Ludy Griffin, Psy.D.
Description: To improve identification of trauma and increase trauma sensitive care and access to evidence based trauma treatment for at risk and underserved populations in Central and Western Massachusetts, including Court-involved children and military families by:

1. Developing, enhancing and strengthening the abilities of pediatricians, school personnel, law enforcement, and juvenile court personnel; 2. Creation of a Centralized Referral System and; 3. Providing training to clinicians in Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).

see alsohttp://www.umassmed.edu/CTTC/

Personnel: Lisa Fortuna, M.D.,(Co-I), Melodie Wenzgross, Ph.D.(Co-I), Thomas Grisso, Ph.D.(Co-I)

Rapid Access to Psychiatric Care in Perinatal Depression Programs (RAPPID)

Title: Rapid Access to Psychiatric Care in Perinatal Depression Programs (RAPPID)
Dates:
9/30/2015 - 6/30/2018
Funder: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Funding: $2,499,996
PI: Nancy Byatt, D.O., M.B.A.

Description: Development and evaluation of a program to improve delivery of depression care in obstetric settings. 

The primary goal of this U01 proposal is to refine, evaluate, and disseminate a new low-cost and sustainable stepped care program for Obstetrics/Gynecology (Ob/Gyn) clinics that will improve perinatal women’s treatment rates and outcomes. Ob/Gyn clinics need supports in place to adequately address depression in their patient populations. Thus, we developed and pilot tested the Rapid Access to Perinatal Psychiatric Care in Depression (RAPPID) Program, to create a comprehensive intervention that is proactive, multifaceted, and practical. RAPPID aims to improve perinatal depression treatment and treatment response rates through:

  1. access to immediate resource provision/referrals and psychiatric telephone consultation for Ob/Gyn providers;
  2. clinic-specific implementation of stepped care, including training support and toolkits; and,
  3. proactive treatment engagement, patient monitoring, and stepped treatment response to depression screening/assessment.

RAPPID builds on a low-cost and widely disseminated population-based model for delivering psychiatric care in primary care settings developed by our team. Formative data and feedback from key stakeholders also informed the development of RAPPID. Our pilot work in real-world settings suggests RAPPID is feasible and improves depression detection and treatment in Ob/Gyn settings. Because it uses existing infrastructure and resources, RAPPID, has the potential to be feasible, sustainable and transportable to other practice settings. We propose to compare two active interventions, RAPPID vs. enhanced usual care (access to resource provision/referrals and psychiatric telephone consultation) in a cluster-randomized trial in which we will randomize 12 Ob/Gyn clinics to either RAPPID or enhanced usual care. We will compare the effectiveness of RAPPID vs. enhanced usual care to improve depression severity and treatment participation in pregnancy through 12 months postpartum among 300 patients (n=150/group, 25/clinic).

We will then disseminate findings and recommendations via a multi-dimensional dissemination strategy to facilitate national uptake. Our established relationships with stakeholders boosts the potential for widespread dissemination and implementation of RAPPID. Our combined expertise in the integration of obstetric and depression care, cluster-randomized trials and Ob/Gyn make us ideally suited to implement, test and widely disseminate RAPPID. If proven effective, RAPPID will be poised for national dissemination.

Let’s Talk – Recovery for Parents Living with Mental Illness

Title: Let’s Talk – Recovery for Parents Living with Mental Illness

Date: 7/1/2015 – 6/30/2016

Funder: DMH

Funding: $184,187

PI: Kathleen Biebel, Ph.D. 

Description: The Children’s Behavioral Health Knowledge Center is interested in utilizing the UMass Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center to develop and evaluate the Let’s Talk – Recovery for Parents, and to train a group of providers, peer specialists and champions in LT-RP principles, practice and implementation approaches. The goal of the LT-RP project is to increase the capacity of individuals working with adults with mental illness to explore and deal with their clients’ experiences, needs and goals as parents, and to improve the quality of service delivery and care for these adults. The original Let’s Talk model, developed in Finland, is a brief, evidence-based psychosocial interview protocol and discussion guide to assist providers and their adult clients who are parents to identifyand meet the needs of their children, with demonstrated effectivenss in improving children’s outcomes. The original Let’s Talk model will be adapted into Let’s Talk – Recovery for Parents (LT-RP), a brief interview protocol and discussion guide for adult mental health service providers, focusing on the impact of parenting and family experiences on the adult/parent living with mental illness.While the immediate emphasis is on improved outcomes and recovery for adults, the longer-term goal is, of course, for parents’ improved functioning to have broader impact on the well-being and functioning of their children. By  helping parents achieve their recovery goals the impact will be multiplied, to help many more children at risk. Early intervention with parents and, therefore, earlier intervention for children, have the potential for lifelong improvements for all family members

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