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McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at NYU Silver School Awarded NIMH Grant To Develop Mental Health Support App

September 12, 2013

The McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, of the Silver School of Social Work at New York University, has been awarded a $699,735 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to collaboratively create and pilot web- and app-based homework support within child-serving agencies across New York City.

Under the two-year research project, electronic content will be developed in an effort to promote skill acquisition, with the ultimate goal of improving health and behavioral health outcomes for children, adults and families receiving mental health services.

The project will be directed by Dr. Mary McKay, a professor at the Silver School of Social Work and the director of the McSilver Institute. Serving as co-investigator will be Dr. Andrew Cleek, also of the McSilver Institute and an assistant professor at the NYU School of Medicine. Collaborators include Dr. Kimberly Hoagwood of the NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Anil Chacko from CUNY Queens College, Kimberly Johnson from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Nikolaos Kazantzis of the La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.

“As smart phones and access to the internet become increasing accessible, this grant provides a real opportunity to better understand the benefits of utilizing apps in the delivery of health and mental health services, particularly as a supplement to the care provided by under-resourced public health and behavioral health providers,” said Dr. McKay.

Public health and behavioral health providers struggle to adapt, implement and embed evidence-based practices in a range of community-based settings serving poverty-impacted populations with ever shrinking resources. As a result, interest in the use of mobile technology to complement and enhance mental health services is increasing.

Previous studies have demonstrated that incorporating homework between visits can result in improved outcomes. However, little research exists on the impact of homework exercises that utilize mobile health applications which are web-based as well as supported on smartphones for individuals and families receiving mental health services.

Findings from this study will have broad implications for evidence-based treatments for youth and adult mental health challenges that emphasize homework as the link between treatment and improvements in targeted outcomes. The app focuses on delivering homework
exercises via a highly engaging, multiplayer, interactive, cooperative and skill-building game platform accessed through the internet or smartphones.

About the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research:
The McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research (McSilver), located within New York University Silver School of Social Work, provides research and technical support to health and behavioral health organizations enabling them to further improve the lives of low-income people who face mental health, medical, social and/or functional challenges related to poverty. McSilver brings together researchers, educators, policy makers, practitioners and consumers to figure out a pathway for adapting successful evidence based practices (EBPs) to varied and highly stressed community based settings. For more information, please visit

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Silver School of Social Work

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Robert Polner | (212) 998-2337

New NIMH Grant Supports Development of Mental Health App

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