About the COIN
CeMHOR's mission is to optimize the health and well-being of Veterans through innovative research to improve access to and engagement in evidence-based mental health/substance use disorder (MH/SUD) care and prevent suicide.
The Center’s research focus is to improve Veterans’ access to mental health (MH) and substance use disorder (SUD) care. Within this focus, the Center’s goal is to improve access to mental healthcare for Veterans with MH/SUDs, with an emphasis on those at high risk for suicide and Veterans living in rural areas.
The Research to Impact for VeteRans (RIVRs) program is a new HSR&D funding mechanism that gives researchers the opportunity to pursue a five-year impact goal. Each RIVR impact goal aligns with VA priority areas including VA legislative priorities (e.g., MISSION Act); cross-cutting ORD priorities (e.g. PTSD); other HSR&D defined clinical priorities (e.g. Health Equity); and HSR&D methodological priorities (e.g. Data Sciences, Implementation Sciences, Systems Engineering). Impact goals for RIVRS could include changes in VA policy or clinical guidelines, spread of operational processes across VISNs, scaling of an effective intervention to 2-3 additional sites, advancements in health services research methods, or any other impacts that have real-world effects on Veteran health and satisfaction.
Addressing Barriers to Mental Health Treatment Initiation and Engagement
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Pyne, MD
The goal of this project is to increase rates of initiation and engagement in care for Veterans presenting to VA primary care with unmet need for mental health treatment. Unmet need will be defined as screening positive for PTSD and/or problem alcohol use in VA primary care and having one or no mental health visits in the six months following the positive screen(s). Investigators will meet this need by identifying barriers associated with the Veteran’s preferred mental health treatment and addressing these barriers using a peer specialist (PS)-delivered treatment initiation and engagement intervention. Investigators will monitor initial success by measuring changes in mental health treatment initiation (e.g., an initial visit) and engagement (e.g., number of sessions attended), treatment satisfaction, and mental health symptom severity. In addition, investigators will develop a toolkit to help operations partners scale up this intervention, should it be shown to be effective, and will work with Peer Services leadership in the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention to add a community track for PS advancement.
In order to achieve CeMOHR’s goals, Center investigators have four objectives.
CeMHOR supports investigators who are part of the HSR&D (CREATE) Initiative. The North Little Rock site of this CREATE Initiative is focused on improving rural Veterans’ access/engagement in evidence-based mental healthcare.
The Center is also home to the VA Quality Enhancement Research Initiative for Team-Based Behavioral Health program, which enhances team-based care for Veterans with behavioral health conditions. The program’s specific aims are to:
Each COIN works closely with operational partners throughout the VA healthcare system. CeMHOR's partners include: