You are here

Recognition and Referral Skills for RAs - Mental Health Problems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41MH083358-01
Agency Tracking Number: MH083358
Amount: $154,563.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2007-2
Solicitation Year: 2008
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
DENVER, CO 80206
United States
DUNS: 791367944
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (303) 296-4380
Research Institution

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): We propose to develop an interactive online program, Recognition and Referral Skills for RAs Training Program - Mental Health Problems, to train college and university RAs to approach, refer, and support residence hall
students who may have mental health problems. During Phase I, we will develop and evaluate a prototype training program designed to strengthen RAs ability to link undergraduate residents who are experiencing psychological distress or behavioral problems wi
th professional mental health services. The Theory of Planned Behavior will be used to guide the development of the program, which will be designed to train RAs to recognize, approach, refer, and support residents who may have a mental health problem. The
program will provide RAs with: (a) concrete action plans for approaching a resident they have concerns about; (b) guidance on how to make respectful referrals to appropriate helping resources (including online resources); (c) suggestions for how to maintai
n an ongoing dialogue and positive relationship with these residents after the referral; and (d) to recognize their personal limitations in providing assistance to residents who may have mental health problems. The consumer of the program will be departmen
ts of residence life and housing at U.S. colleges and universities. In Phase I, we will conduct elicitation interviews, focus groups, and user groups with staff at 3 universities to develop content for the Recognition and Referral Skills for RAs Training P
rogram - Mental Health Problems. We will rely on a specified, iterative process to construct the online program, including extensive feedback from an expert advisory panel, resident assistants, and residence hall directors. Our evaluation plan includes a p
re-post test of change in resident assistant attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, behavioral intent, and user satisfaction. We hypothesize that participation in a quasi-experimental trial will increase RA scores on behavioral intent t
o approach, refer, and support residents who may have mental health problems. We also expect to find that those RAs who report greater satisfaction with the training program will have stronger behavioral intent to approach, help, and support those with men
tal health problems. To document a foundation for Phase II work, specific criteria are identified for establishing Phase I success. In Phase II, we plan to conduct a multi-campus, randomized trial to test the efficacy of the RA training program. PUBLIC HEA
LTH RELEVANCE: The development of an online training program would be innovative and commercially viable. We are not aware of any web-based application that provides training for RAs to recognize, refer, and support students who may have a mental health pr
oblem. Although mental health concerns and use of psychotropic medications to treat them are prevalent in the undergraduate population, the current state of RA training on these issues is inconsistent across America's campuses and at many institutions is w
oefully inadequate. The findings from a national survey of residence hall officials, conducted in support of this application, suggest that there is both a significant commercial opportunity in developing an effective training RA program and a societal ben
efit, i.e., better linkage of undergraduates with mental health concerns with professional treatment providers.

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

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government