February 03, 2011
Brown, Professor of Psychology and Executive Director of the
PARTNERS Program at St. John’s University, recently received a
4-year, $1 million federal grant to adapt best practices in mental
health for multicultural communities in the Queens, NY area.
Selected as one of 10 sites chosen from a field of 200 national
applicants, the PARTNERS Program will receive funding provided by
the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP)
Safe Start Initiative, founded by current U.S. Attorney General
Dr. Brown and her PARTNERS team will deliver their
nationally-recognized program of mental health services to children
and families exposed to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual
assault, and physical abuse. Over the four years of the grant,
hundreds of families will receive state-of-the-art therapies and
then be studied for two years to monitor their progress and connect
them with other needed services. Dr. Brown's project will not only
help families in Queens, but will be a national model for fighting
the intergenerational transmission of family violence.
"For our work regarding mental health issues to be recognized by
Attorney General Holder and OJJDP as one of the Top programs
nationally is an honor unto itself," said Dr. Brown. "We will
continue our tireless efforts to research and find ways to address
this growing problem with young children and their families."
A shocking 25% percent of youth are exposed to traumatic events
and community violence every year, but at least 75% of them never
receive any treatment. As a result, most of these youth experience
symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression,
and/or juvenile delinquency.
To combat these statistics, Safe Start was developed to "broaden
knowledge about and promote community investment in evidence-based
strategies for reducing the impact of children's exposure to
Now in their second round of demonstration sites, Safe Start has
given PARTNERS the federal funding necessary to expand their
clinical work, increase the number of children and families that
can be served, and bring services closer to home for families who
need it – within Queens Library branches.
In addition to expanding on its community-based model of
services, the PARTNERS Program will adapt an evidence-based
treatment for children exposed to violence, called Alternative for
Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Adaptations to recruit
and retain more Latino and African/Caribbean-American families will
be made in consultation with local and national experts. The
program will also address barriers to treatment, such as stigma and
lack of bilingual and bicultural therapists.
The PARTNERS Program has served over 1,000 families in the past
ten years. The services to children and their families are free.
Located in Queens, the most culturally- diverse county in the U.S.,
the program has effectively developed therapies that reflect
Dr. Brown is one of a select group of Family Violence Experts
recognized nationally for her ability to monitor and evaluate
therapies according to scientific protocol that can predict success
using the latest clinical models in conjunction with
For more information contact Dr. Elissa Brown at (718) 990-2355
or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested
media are asked to call Dominic Scianna, Assistant Vice President
for Media Relations by calling (718) 990-6185 or e-mail inquiries
St. John’s Office of Media Relations also offers SKYPE capabilities
and can make Dr. Brown available upon request.