The proposed program will train postdoctoral scholars with a long-term commitment to developing a research career in the study of mental illness and services for the mentally ill. Rutgers University, with the participation of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School-University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (RWJMS), affiliated clinical facilities, and the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services proposes to continue its interdisciplinary Training Program in Mental Health Services and Systems Research. This endeavor involves faculty and students from disciplines including sociology, psychiatry, psychology, health services, health policy, epidemiology, economics, history, anthropology, and social work. It will focus on specific content areas in which Rutgers University has distinctive strengths and where it can attract outstanding research trainees. These areas are Mental Health Services and Systems Research, Racial and Ethnic Variations in Mental Health and Mental Health Services, Mental Health Services across the Life Course, and Definitions of and Help-Seeking for Mental Health and Mental Health Practice. We propose to train eight postdoctorals a year. Each postdoctoral would spend two years in the program. While we expect most postdoctorals to be new PhD's we also expect to have several trainees at a more advanced level.
There is a critical shortage of skilled mental health services researchers. The gaps and fragmentation of the current mental health system, and the lack of knowledge about how to overcome these gaps, is perhaps the greatest obstacle to providing optimal treatment for persons with serious mental illness. By emphasizing interdisciplinary knowledge and training about mental health and mental health services, this program will contribute to the development of more integrated, cross-cutting research in the mental health services area.
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