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For Release: November 20, 2012
Contact: Derik Hertel, 603-650-1211 or

Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine Receives $3.2 Million Grant from DHHS To Improve Mental Health and Address Trauma in Children

Kay Jankowski, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine

Hanover, N.H.—The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families has awarded a $3.2 million grant to the Department of Psychiatry at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine. The five-year grant will fund work at the Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research Center aimed at improving the well being of children struggling with traumatic experiences, depression, and disruptive disorders. Dartmouth received one of only eight grants awarded nationally.

Under the direction of Kay Jankowski, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine, the new Partners for Change Project created by the funding will be a partnership between Dartmouth researchers and the NH Division for Children, Youth and Families.

In the Partners for Change Project, the research team will develop a web-based assessment program to identify children with posttraumatic reactions and other mental health problems, and link these assessments to effective case planning and evidence-based treatments. Dartmouth-based expert clinicians will train mental health providers statewide in effective child treatments for posttraumatic stress, depression and behavioral difficulties. A particular emphasis will be on monitoring psychotropic medication use among children in care in order to establish guidelines for safe use and safe prescribing practices.

"We are honored to be the recipients of this important award from the Department of Health and Human Services," said Jankowski. "This allows us to extend the work we have started to address the needs of traumatized children and their families in New Hampshire, and to better meet the social and emotional needs of children and youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems in our state."

"Because of this grant, we will identify children and youth with trauma and mental health-related problems earlier and more effectively, and match kids and their families with appropriate best practice treatments to decrease their suffering, foster their development, and improve their health."

Since 2005, Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research Center faculty under the direction of Stanley Rosenberg, Ph.D., professor emeritus at the Geisel School, have received more than $5 million in federal and private funding support to provide clinical training, consultation, and community outreach and to implement research targeting NH children and adolescents whose lives and health have been impacted by trauma.

The Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research Center has trained more than 300 public sector behavioral health providers in New Hampshire on how to treat youth who are living with traumatic experiences, depression, and disruptive disorders. Approximately 4,000 youth from NH communities have also been screened for emotional disorders and dysfunctional behaviors related to exposure to trauma.

The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, founded in 1797, strives to improve the lives of the communities it serves through excellence in learning, discovery, and healing. The nation's fourth-oldest medical school, the Geisel School of Medicine has been home to many firsts in medical education, research and practice, including the discovery of the mechanism for how light resets biological clocks, creating the first multispecialty intensive care unit, the first comprehensive examination of U.S. health care cost variations (The Dartmouth Atlas), and helping establish the first Center for Health Care Delivery Science, which launched in 2010. As one of America's top medical schools, Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine is committed to training new generations of diverse health care leaders who will help solve our most vexing challenges in health care.

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