Research center receives mental health research grant


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News release from Parkview Health:

Parkview Research Center Receives Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Research Grant for Mental Health Research

(January 25, 2016) – The Parkview Research Center has been selected to receive a research grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the foundation’s “Optimizing Value in Health Care: Consumer-Focused Value Trends from the Field” program. The selected research will examine the role, benefits, and disadvantages of telehealth, the delivery of health related services and information at a distance via telecommunications technologies, in addressing mental health needs from the perspective of adolescents and young adults.

Parkview Research Center’s research proposal stemmed from a 2013 report which identified Indiana as the state with the highest rate of teens who have considered suicide and the second-highest rate of teens who have attempted suicide in the United States. The report showed that nearly one in five high school students in Indiana have seriously considered attempting suicide.

Teens who experience serious mental health issues often experience a variety of barriers in gaining access to mental health care including social stigma, a lack of information, and financial constraints. Understanding the potential benefits telehealth may provide in combatting these barriers will be crucial to the efforts of the healthcare agencies that are equipped to deliver mental healthcare to adolescents and young adults.

Project co-leaders Tammy Toscos, PhD; Michael J. Mirro, MD; and Maria Wright, RN, BSN, of Parkview Research Center are teaming with multiple community partners to examine how adolescents and young adults in Indiana identify reliable sources of information related to their mental healthcare choices, as well as their perception of telemental health as an alternative to traditional mental healthcare venues. By examining the broad variety of telehealth technologies including video conferencing; internet-based applications; internet-based chat software; interactive websites; social media; text message based interventions; and mobile technologies, the research will help define high-value telemental healthcare experiences and what comprises the health system’s role in providing telemental health services and resources.

“The stress of transitioning from childhood to adolescence and then from high school to college, trade school or full-time employment, can be a trigger for depression or other serious mental health issues,” said Tammy Toscos, Parkview Research Center. “Given the circumstances of teens in the state of Indiana and the strong community partners who have already committed to participate in this research, we believe our findings will be quickly translated to improvements in the mental healthcare delivery system.”

Community partners in this research include: The Lutheran Foundation; RemedyLIVE; Associated Churches of Fort Wayne & Allen County; Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health; Indiana University; East Allen County Schools; Northwest Allen County Schools; Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES; Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne Behavioral Health and Family Studies Institute; The Lutheran Schools Partnership; Mental Health America in Allen County; Mental Health America of Greater Indianapolis; Parkview Behavioral Health; Park Center; Bowen Center; Youth M.O.V.E Indiana.

The project would not be possible without research team members: Connie Kerrigan, Parkview Behavioral Health; Cathy Duchovic and Phil Hutson, Park Center; Elanah Barrow, Bowen Center; Clinton Faupel, RemedyLIVE; Marcia Haaf, The Lutheran Foundation; Lizzy Chen and Amelia Roebuck, Parkview Research Center; and Colleen Carpenter, suicide prevention specialist.

The Parkview Research Center is located in the Parkview Mirro Center for Research & Innovation. The Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation’s mission is to provide opportunities that will open new doors and, potentially, revolutionize healthcare and save lives of individuals. This mission is an extension of the commitment that Parkview has made to the communities it serves throughout northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio and south-central Michigan.

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