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NIJ Grant to Address Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Programs in Schools

NIH Grant to Address Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Programs in Schools

CFS Faculty Drs.  Anna Abella and Amy Vargo are PI’s on a newly funded grant by the National Institute of Justice. The goal of the 2-year, $478,553 grant is to inform ongoing implementation and improve program effectiveness for violence prevention and mental health training programs funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) in response to the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act.

Additional team members include Dr. Tom Massey, Melissa Johnson, Areana Cruz, from CFS and Dr. Nate von der Embse from USF College of Education. They will work together on a bi-level study that will include a cross-site analysis of programs across 128 sites and an in-depth case study analysis across diverse population categories.

The USF team members have been involved in a variety of studies related to mental health services, training, and program implementation, and most recently include projects that evaluate or seek to understand mental health training and interventions in schools, pediatric behavioral health collaborations, behavioral health initiatives in child welfare, and police-mental health collaborative models.

The evaluation is intended to support grantees by providing strategic assessment and identification of common implementation factors and processes across sites, as well as specific recommendations for improvements. The findings will also contribute to the success of grantees who are awarded in coming grant cycles by providing lessons learned during early stages of implementation.

"Findings from this evaluation will inform broader understandings of violence prevention and mental health program implementation in schools through dissemination of the findings to the school, practitioner, and research communities," said Dr. Abella.