In an effort to increase the availability of high quality, evidence-based behavioral health interventions for children, youth, and families in Fairfax County, Healthy Minds Fairfax contracted with the Psychology Department at George Mason University (GMU) to develop the Fairfax Consortium for Evidence-Based Practice (FC-EBP). Healthy Minds Fairfax is a system of care created to improve access to and quality of mental health and substance use disorder services for children, youth, and families, through coordinating a continuum of services across multiple County agencies, the public school system, and a network of private providers. The overarching goals of Healthy Minds Fairfax are to help youth and families in the Fairfax-Falls Church community access mental health and substance abuse services, and improve the quality of those services.
The FC-EBP is steered by a multidisciplinary Leadership Group that represents multiple youth serving and family sectors of the Fairfax County community in addition to Healthy Minds Fairfax and GMU Psychology Department, including personnel from the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, Fairfax-Falls Church Children’s Services Act, Fairfax County Public Schools, and Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, as well as a faith based representative and a parent representative from the community. Healthy Minds Fairfax falls under the purview of James Gillespie, LCSW, MPA CSB Child, Youth and Family Services Director and Healthy Minds Fairfax Director.
Multiple faculty from the GMU Psychology Department participate in the FC-EBP. It is led by Dr. Christianne Esposito-Smythers who is the Principal Investigator on the Healthy Minds Fairfax contract. She is also one of the trainers. Dr. Keith Renshaw is a Co-Investigator on this contract. Drs. Sarah Fischer, Robyn Mehlenbeck and Tara Chaplin also serve as trainers.
Clinicians who participate in the training consortium are provided with access to free training and consultation in evidence-based interventions designed to treat a range of child and adolescent mental health conditions (depression, anxiety, disruptive-behavior, post-traumatic stress), substance abuse, and high-risk behaviors (suicidal and non-suicidal self-injury). Many of these trainings offer certifications upon successful completion. The Fairfax Consortium Leadership Group also offers fidelity monitoring, outcome assessment, and implementation support.
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