A Message from the Director:
Kenneth Wells, M.D., M.P.H.
On behalf of our Center investigators, staff and institutional and community partners, I welcome you to our website to learn about our Center's programs and activities. Our broad goal is to effectively use research to improve public mental health and mental healthcare delivery in ways that are consistent with the goals, priorities and resources of diverse stakeholders.
The Center conducts research to improve how services are delivered and to improve health and social outcomes for persons with psychiatric disorders across the lifespan, and also to prevent such disorders and promote mental wellness. Our approach spans work on health and social policy, health and community services delivery, treatment and prevention programs, and community engagement with a particular focus on reducing disparities in healthcare delivery and health and social outcomes. We have been developing a range of interventions and toolkits to support healthcare systems and providers in improving services for the disorders we study at the community level. We are conducting rigorous evaluations of the effectiveness and costs of these programs. We have focused mainly on depression, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit disorder, and anxiety disorders, as well as their co-occurrence with medical conditions and substance abuse.
We have a strong focus on community-partnered participatory research, which establishes relationships over time with community members and community-based agencies through developing trust, two-way knowledge exchange, and equality of power and authority in all aspects of research. As a result, we collaborate with many community agencies, healthcare practices and plans, purchasers, and consumer groups locally and nationally. We have had a particularly strong relationship in the past four years with New Orleans investigators and community-based agencies, supporting research and services programs to promote mental health recovery following the disaster of Katrina.
The Center houses UCLA faculty members, including adult and child psychiatrists and psychologists and social scientists, staff, including statisticians, and research and administrative staff, and a variety of students and visiting scholars and community members.
The Center hosts the administrative functions for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded Partnered Research Center for Quality Care (and for 2009-2010, the Research Center for Quality in Managed Care). The Center partners closely with two other centers that address health disparities funded by the National Institutes of Health, and with the RAND Health Program. RAND is a nonprofit private research corporation that conducts policy work in the public interest. Other key institutional partners on the academic side are research centers of The Veterans Administration, including the Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Care Center (MIRECC), Field Program for Study of Change in Provider Behavior, and Center on Implementation and Dissemination Research.