An Academic-Community Partnership Between the George Mason University (GMU) Psychology Department, Healthy Minds Fairfax, and the Inova Kellar Center
In an effort to increase the availability of high quality, evidence-based behavioral health interventions for children, youth, and families in Fairfax County, Healthy Minds Fairfax contracted with the Psychology Department at George Mason University (GMU) to develop the Fairfax Consortium for Evidence Based Practice (FC-EBP). Healthy Minds Fairfax is a system of care created to improve access to and quality of mental health and substance use disorder services for children, youth, and families, through coordinating a continuum of services across multiple County agencies, the public school system, and a network of private providers. The overarching goals of Healthy Minds Fairfax are to help youth and families in the Fairfax-Falls Church community access mental health and substance abuse services, and improve the quality of those services.
The FC-EBP is steered by a multidisciplinary Leadership Group that represents multiple youth serving and family sectors of the Fairfax County community in addition to Healthy Minds Fairfax and GMU Psychology Department, including personnel from the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, Fairfax-Falls Church Children’s Services Act, Fairfax County Public Schools, and Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Healthy Minds Fairfax falls under the purview of James Gillespie, LCSW, MPA CSB Child, Youth and Family Services Director and Healthy Minds Fairfax Director.
Multiple faculty from the GMU Psychology Department participate in the FC-EBP. It is led by Dr. Christianne Esposito-Smythers who is the PI on the Healthy Minds Fairfax contract. She is also one of the trainers. Dr. Keith Renshaw is a Co-I on this contract. Drs. Sarah Fischer, Robyn Mehlenbeck, and Tara Chaplin also serve as trainers.
Clinicians who participate in the training consortium are provided with access to free training and consultation in evidence-based interventions designed to treat a range of child and adolescent mental health conditions (depression, anxiety, disruptive-behavior, post-traumatic stress), substance abuse, and high-risk behaviors (suicidal and non-suicidal self-injury). Many of these trainings offer certifications upon successful completion. The Fairfax Consortium Leadership Group also offers fidelity monitoring, outcome assessment, and implementation support.
Why Evidence-Based Practice?
Many different treatment approaches are used to help youth with mental health and substance abuse problems. Research shows some treatments work better than others for specific problems. Treatments that have scientific evidence supporting use are called evidence-based treatments (EBTs). Treatments are compared in clinical trials with dozens to hundreds of children with similar types of problems. As more studies are done and find support, evidence for that EBT grows. Often there is more than one EBT for a given problem or set of problems. The goal of the FC-EBP is to promote the use of evidence-based treatment by providing free training and consultation to clinicians in our local community.
Current Evidence-Based Trainings Offered
The evidence based trainings currently offered through the FC-EBP include Core Competency Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CC-CBT), Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, or Conduct Problems (MATCH-ADTC), Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and the Family Intervention for Suicide Prevention (FISP). We also offer Case Manager Training.
In exchange for access to low-cost/no cost training, participating private clinicians will consider becoming contracted Behavioral Health providers with Healthy Minds Fairfax (Comprehensive Services Act, Short-Term Behavioral Health).
Benefits of Participation
There are many benefits to participating in our trainings. Clinicians receive free training in treatments shown to work for a range of youth mental health problems as well as free continuing education credits. Clinicians may also receive “certification” in some of the treatments offered if all requirements are completed. Those clinicians who receive certification in sponsored trainings will be given the opportunity to be listed on relevant Fairfax County as well as affiliated program (e.g., TF-CBT, https://tfcbt.org/members/) websites, which should generate referrals for your practice in your areas of expertise.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or are interested in joining the listserv for training opportunities.