FMHI is the largest behavioral health services research center in the United States. The Institute conducts applied research to improve services and outcomes for individuals with mental, addictive, and developmental disorders. So far in 2011-12, FMHI has received $21.6 million in new external funding to support new research and training projects. Many of our research reports are available to the public through online or print publications. FMHI's efforts are supported through a variety of grants, contracts, and state funding. A variety of work is outlined below.
Adult Mental Health
FMHI Affiliates participate in various research studies regarding adult mental health. Some common research themes within the topic are interventions that address substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, policy analyses dealing with adults diagnosed with a mental disorder, homelessness, and community behavioral health.
Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Affiliates conducting research on autism and developmental disabilities are internationally recognized for their research and expertise. CBCS is home to national and state centers such as the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD), the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities, the USF Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Learning Academy & the Learning Academy Employment Services, Partnership for Effective Programs for Students with Autism (PEPSA), and the Interdisciplinary Center for Evaluation and Intervention (ICEI).
There are numerous training and research projects conducted by FMHI Affiliates that focus on child welfare, foster care, mental health services for children in child welfare systems, and policy research related to children and families. Categories include child welfare system and practice improvement, community supports, and facts, figures, and data support on child well-being.
Children's Mental Health Systems of Care
Systems of care provide effective community-based services for youth with or susceptible to a mental health diagnosis. They help both children and their families address any cultural and linguistic needs to live a better life at home, in school, and in the community. This concept emphasizes the importance of helping a child with mental health problems reach his or her potential.
Many people involved in the criminal justice system have diagnosable mental illnesses or substance abuse disorders. The delivery of services and the development of effective interventions to avoid recidivism are critical in reducing criminal behaviors. Various studies focus on the interaction of the behavioral health and criminal justice systems.
Health Reform/Managed Care/ Integrated Care
In 1996, Florida's Medicaid authority, the Agency for Health Care Administration, implemented the Prepaid Mental Health Plan under the authority of a 1915(b) waiver from the Federal Health Care Financing Administration, now known as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid. At that time, the Louis de la Parte Mental Health Institute (FMHI) was selected by the Agency to evaluate the effects of the Florida Prepaid Mental Health Plan. From that first contract, the relationship with the Agency for Health Care Administration grew into a partnership of shared research and evaluation interests, with university resources matched with Medicaid funding.
Integrated care combines general healthcare and behavioral healthcare into one setting. Affiliates doing research on integrated care have found that it provides a very effective approach to treating people with various healthcare needs. In the end, combining the two types of healthcare can be more cost efficient and more helpful in helping the patient live a healthier life.
The University of South Florida Center for HIV Education and Research provides healthcare professionals throughout the state with the latest research in regards to the treatment, management, and prevention of HIV and AIDS. The follow are programs that are currently taking place within the Center: Perinatal HIV Transmission Prevention Program, Project Latino STYLE, and S.H.A.R.E. Haiti—Syndemic HIV/AIDS Research and Education for Haiti.
Older Adults and Adult Behavioral Health
Faculty and staff at FMHI conduct research regarding older adults and adult behavioral health in the following areas: aging and health; cognitive aging and Alzheimer's disease; mental health and disparities and public policy and long-term care. Research conducted in such topics aims to improve clinical practice, public policy, and the well-being of older adults and their families.
Process of Learning
Adult learning is an area of interest for some FMHI Affiliates. These Affiliates are interested in researching the most efficient methods in which students at the undergraduate and graduate level perceive the information they receive in the classroom and process it in order to apply it to real life scenarios. Students learn best when they alter their study habits to match their personal needs. Evaluation of such habits is important to determine if he or she should lean towards a new approach.
Promotion of Health Equity
Research conducted on the promotion of health equity addresses the unequal dissemination of services to a particular population, which may be rooted in a variety of factors, such as cultural differences, socioeconomic status, or geographic location. Such factors are linked to the social determinants of health and result in health disparities across populations.
Affiliates under the research methodology theme further investigate the types of data collection methods commonly used in various studies. Research methodology can help to examine the validity of a particular system. It can also help the researcher decide which method, materials, and techniques are most appropriate for his or her study.
Affiliates in this area conduct research in regards to substance abuse in many contexts. Common substance use themes are prevention of substance abuse problems and effective interventions used to treat substance abusers. Affiliates provide training and consultation to state agencies, advocacy groups, and substance abuse providers statewide. Previous studies have sought to engage clients into continuing treatment and eventually becoming substance free.
Trauma and Violence
Research in this area addresses acute and chronic trauma that results from violence and/or neglect and, in turn, results in violence and/or neglect in the following generations as well as disenfranchisement from society, such as homelessness. Interventions that effectively change violent and neglectful behaviors and subsequent sequelae for victims and perpetrators can change the short and long-term outcomes of all persons involved in an interpersonal relationship or community setting.
Veterans' Behavioral Health and Homelessness
Veterans are a population of interest for multiple studies conducted in FMHI. These studies focus on the topics of substance use, mental health problems, and homelessness among veterans. There are also studies that evaluate services intended to help veterans.