• Laboratory for Leveraging Evidence and Advancing Practice for Youth Mental Health Services

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    The Laboratory for Leveraging Evidence and Advancing Practice for Youth Mental Health Services (LEAP Lab) focuses on the dissemination and implementation of empirically supported practices (ESPs) for underserved youth. Recent research suggests that children who receive treatment as usual in community mental health clinics on average show little improvement over an episode of care—and may even get worse over the course of treatment. While the evidence base suggests that ESPs are efficacious for youth with a wide range of mental health problems, most of these interventions are not available in the settings where children receive treatment. Even when ESPs are implemented in the settings where most youth receive services, the effects are not as substantial as when the interventions are tested in rigorously controlled research trials.

    The LEAP Lab seeks to examine the processes and contexts that promote and support the effective use and sustainability of ESPs. In particular, we emphasize research-practice partnerships and seek to collaborate with community stakeholders in the clinics and schools where most youth receive services. Current projects include:

    • Adapting a cognitive–behavioral treatment for youth depression for use in public schools
    • Examining the fidelity of a decision-making intervention for child welfare-involved youth facing placement disruption
    • Examining the treatment integrity of empirically supported practices implemented in community mental health clinics

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