Woman with concerned look on her face

Ashby awarded grant for mental health service project

College of Education and Human Development Professor Jeff Ashby was awarded a three-year, $372,970 Project AWARE-Community grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to help local educational agencies train adults who work with children and teenagers in school settings and communities in Clarkston, Ga., to detect mental illness in youth.

This training will also include how to encourage adolescents and their families experiencing these problems to seek treatment.

Ashby will work with a team of CEHD doctoral students on the project, which he hopes will decrease adolescent mental health and substance use issues in Clarkston-area communities with large populations of international refugees.

“Because of the stress of relocation and the difficult circumstances that prompted their relocation (e.g., war, discrimination, displacement), refugee youth may be at higher risk for substance use and mental health issues,” Ashby said. “By implementing this program, we expect to see an increase in the mental health literacy of adults who interact with children and teens and more awareness of mental health issues among Clarkston youth.”

Project AWARE-Community seeks to expand communities’ capacity to increase awareness of mental health issues and connect youth with behavioral health issues to needed services. For more information, visit http://www.samhsa.gov.