- Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) is a universal intervention (delivered to all youth of a group/class) mental health
promotion program that aims to raise mental health awareness about risk and protective factors associated with suicide, including knowledge about
depression and anxiety, and toenhance the skills and emotional resiliency needed to deal with stress and crisis. The format of the YAM intervention empowers youth to think, verbalize, and discuss important mental health issues, such as suicide,
in a context that is meaningful to them.
- In a study, which involved ~11,000 ninth grade adolescents in 10 European countries,
the YAM intervention reduced incident (new cases of) suicide attempts by 59% and suicidal thoughts by 52%, compared to control, over one year.
- Lancet. 2015;385(9977):1536-44. PubMed PMID: 25579833
- The CMHRR, in collaboration with the YAM originators and Madhukar Trivedi, MD (UT
Southwestern), is testing YAM for the first time in the US. The collaborative team is currently evaluating the feasibility and acceptability
of delivering YAM to ~2,000 students from eight schools in Montana and five schools
in Texas, and secondarily assessing its efficacy for mental health resiliency and
other mental health outcomes when adapted to the US.
- MSU Extension, in collaboration with the CMHRR and Bill Bryan of One Montana, received
a USDA grant to evaluate delivery of YAM by Extension faculty in frontier and rural
setting schools in Montana. A Montana Mental Health Trust Foundation grant is extending
- The CMHRR will pursue funding for a randomized, controlled trial of YAM, which will
include additional schools in Montana and Texas.
- Good Behavior Game (GBG) is a universal intervention delivered to elementary school-aged children, which empowers teachers to use social learning principles in a game-like context to reduce early aggressive/disruptive and bullying behavior in the classroom. These behaviors are risk factors for later antisocial behavior, drug use, and suicidality
(suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts). CMHRR plans to pilot a one-year feasibility
and acceptability trial of the GBG in ~200 Montana first graders in collaboration
with one of the leading GBG investigators, Holly Wilcox, PhD, of Johns Hopkins.
- Drug Alcohol Depend. 2008; 95(Suppl 1): S60–S73
- Study of mental health “biosignatures” to make diagnosing more objective, and therefore
more likely to predict treatment response (Janet Lindow, PhD).
- Developing a novel, non-opioid medication to treat chronic pain, which could eliminate the risk of opiate addiction and overdose (SiteOne Therapeutics,
Inc. and MSU collaboration)
- Overdose from opioid pain medications results in over 20,000 deaths annually in the
- There is a significant link between chronic pain, opioid abuse, depression, and suicide
- SiteOne Therapeutics, Inc. and the CMHRR are collaborating to develop non-addictive pain medications.
- Improving medication adherence (taking medications as prescribed) in individuals with schizophrenia (CMHRR Director Matt Byerly, MD is lead investigator)
- Large, multi-site study seeking to improve treatment adherence for those who have
trouble taking medication regularly
- Testing a next-generation, highly engaging version of a computerized/online cognitive behavior therapy (cCBT) for depression (Thrive) in rural communities (Mark Schure, PhD and MSU Extension)
- Many studies have shown cCBT to be effective for anxiety and depression, but results
vary and challenges with engagement (completing full course of treatment) have emerged
- The CMHRR is testing a cCBT program (Thrive) that is intended to enhance engagement by emphasizing video presentation that is
tailored to users’ needs.
- Available anywhere there is internet access, the intervention provides treatment anonymity
- This study is the first of cCBT in a rural setting in the US.
- MSU Extension recently partnered with the CMHRR to implement mental health literacy and suicide
prevention programming. By the spring of 2017, the CMHRR will be collaborating with
Extension to train and support 17 Extension faculty in delivering YAM as part of a
pilot study in rural Montana. MSU Extension will be the first Extension program to test YAM in the US.
- CMHRR has trained 12 YAM facilitators in the pilot delivery study of YAM to high school
students in Montana. Five facilitators will continue their training to become YAM
Trainers early in 2017.
- In November of 2016, CMHRR evaluated a contact-based mental health stigma reduction intervention that incorporates the singing and story-telling of country artist Jason DeShaw, whose performance has received national awards for mental health advocacy. Anecdotal
feedback on Mr. DeShaw’s performance suggests that the combination of music and his
personal account of living with mental illness is tremendously engaging and inspiring
to youth, especially to those struggling with mental health challenges. In the current
study, the level of stigma related to mental health in youth, along with other resiliency
outcomes, will be assessed before and after Mr. DeShaw’s performance using short,
written, anonymous surveys.