$3.8 million awarded to ECU psychologists’ mental health improvement research

$3.8 million awarded to ECU psychologists’ mental health improvement research
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 11:04 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - A nearly $3.8 million federal grant has been awarded to East Carolina University psychologists to help improve student mental health.

The university says the long-term goal of the grant is to help prevent and address emotional and behavioral problems in elementary school children.

ECU associate professors of psychology Dr. Brandon Schultz, Dr. Christy Walcott, and Dr. Alexander Schoemann have received a four-year grant from the Institute for Education Sciences for the research.

The team is set to 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).

The team will test how well the ISF improves the quality of mental health services within Pitt County School and the Rock Hill Schools district in South Carolina.

In January,, the team will randomize four of the eight local schools to adopt the ISF beginning in the fall of 2022. The research will run through the 2023-24 academic year. A follow-up assessment will occur in 2024-25.

The research will focus its assessment on students entering the third grade and follow those students through sixth grade, evaluating their progress up to two times per year.

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