Mental Health and Health Disparities

  Mental Health Workforce Demand

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an understaffed and maldistributed behavioral health workforce must prepare for the spike in mental health needs known to occur during and after a crisis. Demand for mental health care is increasing, including among frontline health care workers and first responders who are experiencing acute mental health needs. This study will estimate the workforce surge needed to deliver mental health and substance use disorder services.

  Regulatory Changes to Support Behavioral Telehealth

Sweeping changes in federal regulations and state executive orders have been issued to support the delivery of behavioral health services via telehealth. These changes often cite expiration at the conclusion of the state of emergency/disaster. However, behavioral health needs will continue to increase during the COVID-19 recovery stage. This study identifies the regulatory changes made to support workforce flexibility through telehealth and considers what should be sustained after COVID-19 is contained to maximize workforce capacity. 

  The COVID-19 Coping Study

This study aims to understand how the pandemic and its associated control practices and policies are affecting the mental health and well-being of older adults in America; and identify strategies that help them cope. The goal is to generate knowledge that can be used to inform best practices to support health and well-being of older adults during public health crises. We are using a multi-frame sampling strategy, first through an online panel with quotas for age, sex, and race/ethnicity to match the general older population, and then through distribution through professional society networks, professional contacts, mailing lists of seniors' organizations, and social media.

  The Effect of COVID-19 on Food Insecurity in the United States

The Coronavirus pandemic and the societal changes it has prompted are profoundly and quickly changing American life. Americans are being asked to work from home, non-essential businesses are closing, and schools and daycare centers are closed. These changes have the potential to exacerbate food insecurity among low-income Americans.