The overall objective of this application is to develop a 5-year international research training program that will develop a cadre of young investigators to address disparities in mental health care for U.S. Latinos with serious mental illness. To accomplish this objective, we seek: (a) to recruit the very best young researchers from health disparities populations, particularly Latinos;(b) to help the trainees develop the research and professional skills to reduce and eliminate mental health disparities for Latinos;and (c) to increase the number of Latinos who receive research oriented doctoral degree. The doctoral programs within USC's Clinical Psychology Program, USC's School of Social Work, and UCLA's Clinical Psychology Program will serve as the home institutions of the training program. We will also draw our applicant pool from colleges and universities throughout the United States. A total of 6 undergraduate trainees and 2 graduate trainees will be recruited each year. The School of Medicine at the Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, in Mexico will serve as the foreign home institution. The training is organized to reflect the three general domains of determinants of health disparities as defined by the 2002 Institute of Medicine Report "Unequal Treatment" (individual factors, health systems, and provider discrimination) and to reflect significant junctures in pathways to mental health care (antecedents to care, access to care, and provision of services). Trainees will first receive an intensive 1-week seminar at USC in the study of disparities in Latino mental health care delivered by a multidisciplinary group of faculty from both USC and UCLA. Following the first week, trainees will then travel to Puebla, Mexico to complete a 10-week program during which they will immerse themselves in one of two parent projects being carried out by a Mexico Faculty Mentor and a U.S. Faculty Mentor. For the first year, the program will focus on (a) promoting community residents'literacy in identifying the signs of psychosis, and (b) assessing factors associated with disability in persons with mental illness. For the following years, the Training Advisory Committee will decide which projects will serve as the focus of the training rotating the projects among both Mexican and U.S. faculty mentors.
The training program will develop researchers to address disparities in mental health care for Latinos, specifically their low use of mental health services and their poor quality of mental health care. In addition, the program will increase the number of Latino investigators with the necessary research and professional skills to help eliminate such disparities.
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