Prevent 2 Protect project launches, aims to prevent mass violence by addressing mental health


Can providing mental health and community resources to high-risk adolescents prevent mass violence? Can this holistic model be replicated in other communities? A team of school safety experts from Michigan State University's Department of Psychiatry and Safe and Sound Schools, a national nonprofit school safety organization that provides research-based tools and support for crisis-prevention, response and recovery, is launching a violence prevention project to explore these possibilities.

Funded by a $15 million appropriation from the Michigan Department of Education, the “Prevent 2 Protect: The Adolescent Targeted Violence Prevention Project,” is led by co-directors Alyse Folino Ley, an MSU child and adolescent psychiatrist with clinical expertise in trauma-related disorders who serves as the associate chair of education and research in the Department of Psychiatry, and Frank Straub, senior director of violence prevention research and programs at Safe and Sound Schools. The project seeks to advance knowledge, policies and practices to prevent targeted violence in schools. Over the past year, the co-directors have been building the infrastructure and networks required to implement the community outreach and collaboration project. 

Drawing on the expertise of the MSU Department of Psychiatry — a shared department in the Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and Human Medicine at MSU —  Safe and Sound Schools and a broad network of national experts, the program aims to provide a multidisciplinary research-to-practice hub with psychiatrists, psychologists, criminologists, resident physicians, medical students, allied health professionals, educators and law enforcement who all conduct research, provide clinical services, training and technical assistance to inform targeted violence prevention policies and practices throughout Michigan and beyond.   

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