With $12 million in federal funding, UCLA to expand reach of its depression treatment

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Based on a promising pilot program that screens for and treats depression in college students, researchers and faculty with UCLA’s Depression Grand Challenge have received a five-year, $12 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to increase the reach of their efforts.

The funding will enable the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge team to refine and expand the care program known as STAND, or Screening and Treatment for Anxiety and Depression.

The highly competitive federal funding supports the establishment of a campus research center under the National Institute of Mental Health’s program called Advanced Laboratories for Accelerating the Reach and Impact of Treatments for Youth and Adults with Mental Illness, or ALACRITY.

The ALACRITY center at UCLA will focus on optimizing STAND for community colleges and support related research topics such as pairing patients with treatment that takes into account a patient’s social and environmental factors alongside their symptoms while exploring innovative ways to use data when screening for and treating anxiety and depression. The grant will support other projects that are designed to tackle reducing barriers to seeking care in Latino communities, as well as a broad analysis of mental health services and needs at 10 community colleges in California.

“The recent marked rise in depression and mental health disorders is among the most vexing challenges facing society today,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. “I am grateful that this federal funding will help UCLA continue to play a leadership role in addressing the mental health crisis through the expansion of STAND and other projects.”

Read more on UCLA Newsroom.