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 STAND at East Los Angeles College demonstration project is part of a larger partnership between UCLA and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health launched in 2019 called the DMH + UCLA Public Partnership for Wellbeing. The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health is the largest county mental health agency in the country.
“Early intervention for young adults experiencing mental health issues is critical and meaningful, especially since the 18-25 age is usually when issues of anxiety and depression begin to emerge, and community colleges generally don’t have as many mental health resources as other institutions,” said Curley Bonds, chief medical officer for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. “Also, students at community college frequently experience high levels of stress such as financial and housing strain or food insecurity, all of which can impact mental well-being. We are looking forward to continued collaboration with UCLA as we create we a more holistic system for meeting the changing needs of young adults.”