We are applying for support to continue the Harvard Training Program in Mental Health Policy. That program is embedded in the Harvard's Interfaculty Ph.D. program in Health Policy. Informing public policy about mental health delivery makes use of a broad array of skills and knowledge. The Harvard Training Program in Mental Health Policy continues to have three fundamental aims: 1) To offer pre-doctoral students strong disciplinary based training for application to the broad area of health policy. The disciplinary areas of concentration within the Ph.D. program in health policy are: a) economics, b) political analysis, c) decision sciences, d) ethics, e) evaluative science and statistics, f) medical sociology, and g) management. 2) To provide trainees with formal and informal experiences that will permit them to incorporate into their research the features of mental illnesses, the institutional context within which mental health services are delivered and the nature of public policy decision making in the mental health arena. 3) To provide post-doctoral fellows with research experiences that augments their disciplinary training (if a social scientist) or clinical training. In particular, we aim to match each post-doctoral fellow with research experiences that offer an in-depth exposure to mental health care institutions, clinical circumstances, public policy structures and social science research methods so as to round out their research skills based on their disciplinary background. Graduates of the Training Program in Mental Health Policy are pursuing a variety of exciting careers in research, policy analysis, and teaching related to mental health policy. During the past 15 years the program has produced 21 new Ph.Ds. who are pursuing research careers related to mental health policy (with 3 more expected in 2012). Former students are employed in major research universities, government and private research companies. Our former pre-doctoral and post-doctoral trainees have gone on to successfully compete for NIMH research funds (5 K awards and multiple R01 awards as PI or co-PI). Research conducted by program trainees and their mentors has been influential in existing policy debates.
Informing public policy about mental health delivery makes use of a broad array of skills and knowledge. This training program seeks to train policy researcher and analysts with skill capable of informing decision makers the design of mental health policy.
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