The TCMHCC research initiative has created two state-wide networks across the departments of psychiatry at state-funded HRIs to improve the delivery of child and adolescent mental health services in Texas in alignment with the state-wide Behavioral Health Strategic Plan.
Each of the two statewide research networks is focused on a specific topic area pertinent to advancing the delivery of child and adolescent mental health services. They networks are the:
- Youth Depression and Suicide Research Network (YDSRN)
- Childhood Trauma Research Network (CTRN).
The goals of the research networks are: 1) to better understand and improve mental health services to address youth trauma, depression and suicide, and 2) to identify regional and statewide service delivery gaps to inform policy makers and to improve the mental health of children and youth in Texas. Each of the networks is comprised of research teams from participating HRIs (called “research nodes”). Centralized management and oversight functions for each of the networks is being done by a “research hub” located at an HRI selected by the Executive Committee.
The YDSRN hub is led by Dr. Madhukar Trivedi at UT Southwestern and co led by Dr. Sarah Wakefield at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. The purpose of this research network is to improve the evaluation of and response to the increasing problem of youth depression and suicide in Texas. This will be accomplished by evaluating the healthcare system in Texas as it relates to screening, responding, and monitoring youth symptoms indicative of depression and/or suicidal behaviors; and examining if the different ways in which youth depression presents in a primary care setting (i.e., sad v. irritable) might correlate with a best response with certain treatment (i.e., cognitive behavioral therapy v. supportive therapy).
The CTRN hub is led by Dr. Charles Nemeroff at UT Austin Dell Medical School and co-led by Dr. Karen Wagner at University of Texas Medical Branch. The purpose of this research network is to identify the mental health outcomes of acute and chronic trauma for children and adolescents, identify risk and protective factors, and identify best practices to improve the mental health of children and adolescents in Texas who have experienced trauma.
Each of the research networks is collaborating with the HRIs involved in the research study to develop protocols and research methods. An acculturation, ethnicity and patient advocacy committee has been created to assure the incorporation of a health equity lens and to assure that individuals with lived experience are part of the development and implementation of the research initiative.