A significant goal of Healthy People 2020 is to improve mental health of individuals through prevention and by ensuring access to appropriate, quality mental health services. According to this U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiative, mental health is a “state of successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people and the ability to cope with challenges. Mental health is essential to personal well-being, family and interpersonal relationships, and the ability to contribute to community or society”.
The National Research Institute and Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report that the existing model for understanding mental health and mental health disorders emphasizes the interaction of social, environmental and genetic factors throughout the lifespan. There is a need to address both risk factors which predispose individuals to behavioral vulnerabilities and protective factors which provide protection from developing mental health disorders. Thus, the prevention and the amelioration of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders are inherently interdisciplinary, involving a comprehensive community system of services and supports.
To this end, the Behavioral Health Program at the USC UCEDD addresses Clinical Services, Training, Research and Community Initiatives. The USC UCEDD addresses behavioral health at local and state levels. The Behavioral Health Program is composed of the following mental health teams: Adolescent Medicine, Early Childhood, Child and Family, Pediatric Psychology, Project Heal Trauma Program, Occupational Therapy, Nursing & Psychiatry, and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics.
Marie Kanne Poulsen, PhD, Associate Director, Behavioral Health
Bradley O. Hudson, PsyD, Clinical Director, Community Behavioral Health Services
Marian E. Williams, PhD, Program Area Lead, Early Childhood Program
Dean Coffey, PsyD, Program Area Lead, Child and Family Program
Melissa Carson, PsyD, Program Area Lead, Pediatric Psychology Program
Karen Rogers, PhD, Program Area Lead, Project Heal Trauma Program
Shelby Surfas, OTD, OTR/L, Program Area Lead, Occupational Therapy Program
Kathryn Smith, DrPH, RN, Program Area Lead, Nursing Team and Psychiatry
Karen Imagawa, MD, Program Area Lead, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Program