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School Mental Health and Early Childhood School Mental Health Tracks

The University of Maryland (UMB) School of Medicine (SOM) and the Center for School Mental Health (CSMH) in Baltimore, Maryland is nationally recognized as having a leading interprofessional training program in school mental health (SMH) for psychology, social work, counseling, and psychiatry trainees. UMB offers the only American Psychological Association (APA) Accredited psychology internship that provides a comprehensive major rotation in SMH practice, research, and policy with a goal of preparing scientist-practitioners to work in schools directly with vulnerable and underserved populations. The two SMH Tracks promote the advancement of practice, training, research, and policy to improve access to high quality SMH services and programming (e.g. system-wide prevention efforts, focus on public health concerns), while reducing mental health care disparities. The SMH Tracks provide a unique opportunity for interns to receive an intensive experience in comprehensive SMH across three critical realms: clinical practice, research, and policy, with a specialty in either early childhood (pre-K) or school-aged youth (K-12). The SMH Tracks will offer 6 intern positions in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 training years, with 5 positions specializing in school-aged youth (K-12) and 1 position specializing in early childhood SMH (Pre-K).

Clinical

Interns receive rigorous clinical training across a three-tiered public health framework with major rotations within 1) the UMB SMH Program (SMHP) serving Baltimore City Public Schools or the University of Maryland Center for Infant Study’s Secure Start Program serving Head Start and early childhood education programs in Baltimore City, 2) the Maryland Psychological Assessment and Consultation Clinic (MPACC), and 3) the School Behavioral Health Program and the Child, Family, and School Services Program at Fort Meade. Specifically, interns complete an intensive clinical rotation (20 hours per week for 10 months) with the UMB SMHP in which they provide a full continuum of evidence-based mental health services to underserved, diverse youth (ages 5-19 years) across a three-tiered public health framework (universal, targeted and selected interventions) in one of the 27 Baltimore City Public Schools (elementary, middle, or high school) or one of 2 Head Start Centers that UMB serves. These interns provide evidence-based individual, group, and family therapies; prevention and mental health promotion activities for small groups, classrooms, and school-wide programs; consultation to teachers, staff, and administrators; crisis intervention; and referral to community resources. Additionally, interns conduct assessments of youth at the MPACC throughout the year (6 hours per week). Finally, Interns will help facilitate after-school prevention groups and activities for students in military families during the school year through Fort Meade Military Base’s Child, Youth, and School Services Program (3 hours a week for 9 months), and will participate in summer prevention groups for students in military families through the Army School Behavioral Health Program at Fort Meade (6 hours a week for 3 months).

Research

Interns are required to conduct an independent research project during their internship year related to addressing the mental health needs of underserved and vulnerable youth and families (5 hours per week). Interns are guided in their selection of a research supervisor, who supports their conceptualization, design, and completion of their research project. In addition, interns have a secondary mentor from another discipline besides psychology (e.g., social work, nursing, psychiatry, public health) to expand the breadth of their research experience, and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration. Interns are required to present their research project to their internship class and research mentors in preparation for sharing their findings with the larger SMH community. Specifically, interns are required to present posters and paper sessions at national conferences and/or publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals.

Policy

Interns participate in the advancement of SMH policy and programming via engagement in a number of CSMH projects, including monitoring of federal, state, and local legislation, development and dissemination of policy briefs, white papers, book chapters, and articles related to SMH policy, writing and dissemination of listserv announcements, and developing resources related to SMH for dissemination to and use by state and local government and agencies (5 hours per week). Interns may also have opportunities to attend policy related meetings and conferences.

Training, Supervision and Didactics

Interns participate in the following training components: (1) a weekly, cross Consortium seminar (2 hours); (2) a biweekly interprofessional SMH seminar series (90 minutes each); (3) a monthly interprofessional case conference with psychiatry fellows and SMH psychology and social work professionals (1 hour); and (4) specialized intensive trainings (during the summer months, at training events, at conferences, and as part of their rotations). Specialized SMH training and supervision are provided by faculty and staff from 1) the Center for School Mental Health 2) the Taghi Modarressi Center for Infant Study, and 3) The Family Informed Trauma Treatment Center. Interns have the opportunity to be trained in evidence-based practices and programs that can be used in schools, complete intensive interprofessional and cultural and linguistic competence training, and gain SMH specialized training related to working with military families and youth impacted by trauma. Psychology interns participate in didactics with psychology, social work, counseling, psychiatry, and nursing trainees. The didactics seminars are led by course instructors and supervisors from multiple professions, and with diverse practice, research, and policy experience, to provide education and training experiences related to SMH, interprofessional collaboration, and cultural and linguistic competency.

Eligibility

Applicants must be students in good standing in an APA - accredited doctoral program in clinical, counseling or school psychology. In addition, the following is required prior to the application deadline:

  • Successfully defend dissertation proposal
  • Completion of more than 500 combined intervention and assessment hours (including both Masters and Doctoral level hours)
  • Significant experience with writing integrated assessment reports of children and adolescents

Application deadline

November 1


Contact

Nancy Lever, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Associate Director of the VAMHCS/UMB Psychology Internship Consortium, and SMH Internship Track Director
nlever@psych.umaryland.edu
410-706-2974


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