Development of Researcher and Community Partner Training Modules for Collaborative Mental Health Research

HERMES was awarded a three-year Small Business Innovative Research Phase II contract with the National Institute of Mental Health.

Goal: To develop training modules to assist mental health researchers and African American community-based organization (CBO) leaders to

  • understand the basic characteristics of partnering together,
  • acquire collaborative participatory research skills, and
  • develop abilities to plan for and undertake partnerships for mental health research.

The Phase I study was completed in April 2004 and demonstrated the feasibility of developing partnership training that is responsive to the training needs of both mental health researchers and black CBOs.

Target audience: Young minority women aged 18–25 years attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Objectives of the Phase II study:

  • Refine the draft prototypes of modules developed during Phase I.
  • Conduct usability (alpha) tests of the training modules.
  • Revise the training modules and conduct a pilot (beta) study and compare different training formats.
  • Incorporate pilot test results and recommendations in the final training modules.

Target audiences:

  • Mental health investigators desiring to initiate community-partnerships
  • Leaders of CBOs and faith-based organizations involved in mental health activities among African Americans
  • Other institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, that are interested in partnering with communities

Our training modules support the development and enhancement NIMH-funded research that addresses mental health disparities. The major advantage of our training modules for mental health researchers is having flexible, efficient, and affordable training options for preparing partnerships with black communities. The major advantage the training modules offer black CBO leaders is an appreciation of mental health research benefits and empowerment to effectively advocate for their communities’ needs in this arena. The modules offer both researchers and black CBO leaders an avenue for establishing ground rules and communication from a more informed perspective. This mutual understanding and appreciation is vital to ensure mental health research is truly collaborative and effectively addresses the needs of both partners.

Product Description:

We provide a methodology and materials based on collective experience in conducting effective outreach to black communities:

The first phase of the training includes three of a series of six individual modules. These first three modules are designed for separate learning sessions for mental health researchers and black community-based organization (CBO) leaders. The last three modules are designed for joint training sessions for mental-health researcher –CBO partnering pairs who have completed the Modules 1-3.

Module 1 / Considering Partnerships

  • Features of Research Partnerships with Black Communities
  • Advantages of Partnership
  • Demands of Partnership
  • Identification of Goals and Reasons for Partnering
  • Selecting a Partner
  • Mental Health Issues in Black Communities

Module 2 / Establishing the Partnership

  • Groundwork
  • Joint Planning and Partnership Agreements
  • Challenges and Strategies

Module 3 / Managing Collaborative Research

  • Project Initiation and Planning
  • Project Implementation
  • Monitoring and Evaluation

Preliminary results of our Phase II Small Business Innovative Research study indicate that our training materials, which include experiential exercises and case studies, have been well received by mental health researchers and black CBO leaders

We currently offer training materials for three formats: a semester-long facilitated course, a short cooperative learning course, and two-day workshops. Please contact for further information to schedule a training or purchase the training modules.

Sponsor: National Institute of Mental Health

Abstract: Pilot Test of Cooperative Learning Format for Training Mental Health Researchers and Black Community Leaders in Partnership Skills

Abstract: Developing Training Modules for Mental Health Research Partnerships Between Researchers and Black Community-Based Organization Leaders

Abstract: Community Research Ethics Training for Mental Health Researchers and Black Community Leaders Engaged in Partnerships

Abstract: Mental Health and Black Community-Based Organization Leader Training in Partnerships

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