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Educational Programs

Program of Research and Innovation in Disparities Education (PRIDE)

  • This novel interdisciplinary, experiential training program strives to develop, refine, examine, and ultimately disseminate a new paradigm for mental health research training. 
  • Rochester-PRIDE incorporates elements necessary to recruit minority investigators into research careers and to overcome barriers to community research. Although we will focus our training efforts on clinical psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows, medical students and residents in psychiatry and family medicine will also be eligible. Trainees will complete a didactic curriculum and will be assigned to a mentoring-precepting team.
  • Each will be given the opportunity to work with 1) one or more URMC-based research mentors with expertise matched to the trainee’s interests and learning objectives, 2) a community site leader, affiliated with a community-based organization whose mission matches the trainee’s interest, and 3) a senior community preceptor. A network of renowned consultants from around the United States will travel to Rochester to offer workshops and meet individually with trainees.
  • The Department of Psychiatry has established training sites in many of the diverse ‘sub-communities’ and community agencies that constitute the City of Rochester, including the Rochester Police Department, the Ibero-American Action League, and Alternatives for Battered Women, the Outreach Community Center, and the Family Restoration Project at New Life Fellowship.
  • Upon completing the program, trainees will have developed culturally-relevant knowledge and skills in the conceptualization, assessment, and treatment of mood disorders in diverse populations.

The Health Fair Outreach Program: Combining Trainee Education with Public Education

The Health Fair Outreach Program provides public education on mental health and aging well.  The program also provides educational opportunities for undergraduates, medical students, geropsychology fellows, research staff, and research scientists, by participating in the Aging Well Initiative Outreach Booth.  Through the program, trainees learn how to conduct effective community outreach, they are exposed to community perceptions of mental health and of the U of R, and they are educated about issues surrounding mental health screenings with ethnic minorities.

Format: Involvement with the program involves hands-on service learning by a helping with organization, set up, and booth coverage.  Trainees are expected to contribute to the purpose of the booth, which is to:

  • publicize our work and mission
  • disseminate information on mental health and aging to the public
  • provide depression and blood pressure screenings for a public that would otherwise not be exposed to them.
  • invite people to participate in research projects. 

In the past 2 years the following types of trainees have had such service learning experiences:

  • 2 medical students doing blood pressure screens
  • 10 undergraduate students who want to learn about community outreach and applying psychology/psychiatry concepts
  • 2 geropsychology fellows doing depression screens
  • 2 postdoctoral fellows in psychiatry interested in community psychiatry
  • 2 master’s students interested in community counseling
  • 5 research staff with community interests
  • 3 investigators learning about research recruitment

The Health Fair Outreach Program provides public education on mental health and aging well, particularly to underserved and minority populations.  This is accomplished through screenings, discussions at the booth, and educational materials, such as:

  • African Americans and Depression
  • Alzheimer’s and Grace
  • CARE study brochure
  • Caring for Dependent Elders
  • Caring for Elders with Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias
  • Depression in African American Men
  • Depression in Older Adults
  • General Depression Flyer in Spanish
  • Choosing Senior Housing and Residential Care
  • Study recruitment flyers for our current studies
  • Handout on suicide
  • Tips for Aging Well

Community Education Program

The Aging Well Initiative organizes free educational events provide the community with up-to-date information on important mental health issues, presented in a setting that is easily accessible to the community.

The programs provide trainees in medicine, psychiatry, and psychology with the opportunity to see how community and university presenters differ in their approaches, to learn community presentation skills, and to engage in dialogue about mental health topics with the lay public. 


Seminar on Mental Health Topics for Pastoral Care

Free monthly class for clergy working with underserved populations, focusing on important mental health issues.  The class provides a forum for discussion of problems with referral and use of mental health services by people of color.  For more information, call Mary Harper at 275-6858.

Presentations on Mental Health Issues

On request, the AWI will provide presentations to groups at churches, senior centers, and community centers (by appointment) on topics such as Memory, Caregiving Issues, and Depression.  Many are free of charge, although sometimes community organizations offer a small honorarium to the speaker. To request a speaker, call Dr. Silvia Sörensen at 273-2952

Past Events

Historical Perspectives on Research in the African American Community

A panel presentation and frank discussion of human subjects issues in research with people of color (2005, James Madison School).

Community Forums I: Caregiving Issues for African American Elders. Program included a panel discussion and 4 break-out sessions.  (2003, New Life Fellowship)

Community Forums I: Healthy Body, Mind, and Spirit:  African Americans Aging Well.  Program included a panel discussion and 5 breakout sessions. (2004, Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church). 

Community Outreach Consultation and Education

The Aging Well Initiative provides brief workshops and consultations to University researchers, clinicians, and trainees interested in expanding their base of operations into the local community.

Examples of past activities include:

  1. NIMH Summer Research Institute for Suicide, Rochester, NY (2004, 2005)
    • 1 hour presentation on Sampling, Recruitment Biases and the Role of Diversity (with Greg Brown)
    • 1 hour presentation on Community Linkages in Suicide research (with Paul Duberstein and Wendy Nilsen)
  2. NIMH Summer Research Institute for Geriatric Psychiatry, Rochester, NY
    • 1 hour presentation on Increasing Minority Participation in Research Studies (with Martha Bruce)
  3. NIMH Summer Research Institute for Suicide, Rochester, NY (2006)
    • Panel presentation on Community-Partnered Research III: Aging Well Initiative (with Paul Duberstein and Lawrence Hargrave)
  4. Geropsychology Core Tutorial:
    • 2 hour presentation and discussion on Entering Community Systems
    • 2 hour presentation and discussion on Mental Health Promotion in the African American Community with the Aging Well Initiative
  5. Individual Consultations