ECU Team Receives $ 3.8 Million To Fight Mental Health Of Elementary School Students | Local News

Three ECU researchers have received a federal grant of $ 3.8 million for a four-year effort to address emotional and behavioral problems in elementary school children, the university announced this week.

Associate professors of psychology Brandon Schultz, Christy Walcott and Alexander Schoemann have received the grant from the Institute for Education Sciences – the research arm of the US Department of Education, an announcement said Thursday.

The team will conduct a randomized controlled trial of a school-community partnership focused on improving mental health services in elementary schools, known as the Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF).

“Schools have long been responsible for teaching students who have underlying emotional and behavioral issues,” said Walcott, co-investigator and director of the graduate program in psychology. “Although schools are trying various programs to address behavior and mental health, the results for students with emotional and behavioral problems continue to be discouraging. School services tend to be fragmented and more reactionary than preventive.

“This grant is focused on building effective interdisciplinary teams, improving decision making and increasing the implementation of evidence-based practices, which is really exciting and should benefit our schools.” and the whole community. Ultimately, we hope to improve the functioning of the school team and increase students’ access to the most effective behavioral and mental health supports available, ”said Walcott.

The team, led by Schultz, will test how TFR improves the quality of mental health services in schools in Pitt County and the Rock Hill School District in South Carolina.

“Schools in Pitt County have made great strides in recent years in implementing best practices,” said Schultz. “This project will increase those efforts and potentially provide an innovative next-generation model that other school districts can emulate.”

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