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Mindfulness and Acceptance Applied in Colleges Through Web-Based Guided Self-Help

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R44AT006952-02
Agency Tracking Number: R44AT006952
Amount: $1,119,792.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 213
Solicitation Number: PA13-234
Solicitation Year: 2013
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-06-30
Small Business Information
Reno, NV 89519-2975
United States
DUNS: 832065150
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (775) 453-0406
Business Contact
Phone: (775) 453-0406
Research Institution

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Nearly half of all college students have a diagnosable mental health problem Blanco et al College counseling centers CCCs are faced with increasing demands for services from Universities students and parents to meet the treatment needs of their students Kay and Schwartz in the context of increasingly severe cases and declining resources Gallagher Innovative cost effective solutions are needed that can improve treatment effectiveness with a range of presenting problems while reducing counselor workloads The proposed Phase II SBIR project seeks to meet these needs by completing the development and evaluation of a web based guided self help version of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT Hayes Strosahl and Wilson an acceptance and mindfulness based transdiagnostic therapy found to effectively treat a range of mental health problems by targeting experiential avoidance EA the tendency to avoid unwanted emotions and negative thoughts Hayes et al A guided self help ACT website would provide a means of implementing effective treatment for the range of problems encountered in the CCC setting while the online guided self help format would reduce counselorsandapos workload for each client improving cost effectiveness and reducing waiting lists This product would both treat students through a series of self help modules while training CCC counselors in the basics of ACT and how to implement the guided self help intervention and providing them tools to monitor and follow up with student clients using the program In Phase I a prototype of ACT on College Life ACT CL was developed and evaluated in an open trial with counselors and student clients across CCCs Results provided support for the usability feasibility and potential effectiveness of the product In Phase II the full ACT CL product will be developed The final student portal will include eight minute self help sessions
targeting the core processes in ACT tailored to a problem of the userandapos s choosing as well as mobile app and ACT Toolbox features i e saving favorite skills to review later The counselor portal will include a series of training modules on guided self help and ACT interactive forum system to add student users and monitor their program usage and a secure messaging system to contact students Program content will be revised through focus groups with students in CCC treatment n focused interviews with counselors n and usability testing counselors and students in treatment The final program will be evaluated in a randomized controlled trial comparing CCC treatment as usual TAU to TAU plus the ACT CL program ACT TAU with counselors and student clients clients counselor on measures of mental health program satisfaction and mechanisms of change ACT CL will be subsequently marketed to CCCs across the US and abroad via the sale of site licenses PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE College counseling centers are expected to serve an increasingly higher number of students presenting with increasingly more severe problems despite a concurrent stagnation of available resources The proposed project seeks to improve college counseling centersandapos ability to effectively and efficiently treat students presenting with a
range of mental health problems by developing a transdiagnostic web based guided self help program A substantial percentage of the US population is in college at some point in their lives and improving college counseling treatment programs could have a broad public health impact

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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