Kennedy Krieger Faculty Receive Grant to Build Capacity to Deliver Evidence Based Mental Health Intervention

December 20, 2021

Dr. Deepa Menon, of the Kennedy Krieger LEND Program and co-PIs Kathryn Van Eck, PhD and Nikeea Copeland Linder, PhD, MPH were recently awarded a Jesse DuPont Bell grant to address mental health and COVID-induced trauma in patients with autism and other special health care needs. By utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) training, Social Work trainees from collaborating HBCU’s will receive mentoring and training to deliver an evidence-based validated program through telemedicine to address student stress and anxiety, and to build coping skills and resilience.

The CBITS program is designed for use with groups of patients who have experienced significant traumatic experiences and are suffering from related emotional or behavioral problems, particularly symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Taking into account cultural context, it uses a variety of proven cognitive behavioral techniques and focuses primarily on three goals: decreasing current symptoms related to trauma exposure, building skills for handling stress and anxiety, and building peer and caregiver support. This pilot study will increase workforce capacity and diversity using an evidence based approach for students with ASD and other developmental disorders.