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The ADDRESS Mental Health Laboratory, in the Department of Psychology at Palo Alto University, is directed by Alayna Park, Ph.D.
Meet ABCT’s Featured Lab
The Advancing Design and Delivery of Responsive, Effective, and Sustainable Services for Mental Health (ADDRESS Mental Health) Laboratory, located in the Department of Psychology at Palo Alto University, is directed by Alayna Park, Ph.D.
Trainee Lab Members
We asked each of the ADDRESS Mental Health Lab student/trainee members:
- What is your area of research interest?
- How has ABCT been helpful to you?
- If a student were thinking about joining ABCT, what activities would you recommend they get involved in?
Alyssa Herman, B.A.
- My research interests are primarily in implementation and dissemination science. Specifically, I am interested in the dissemination of mental health information to children and families and the implementation and effectiveness of evidence-based practices and prevention programs.
- ABCT has been extremely helpful in enhancing my knowledge of the latest research in adapting and implementing treatment techniques for children and families and learning current approaches to help disseminate mental health information to the general public. ABCT has also allowed me to meet other professionals within the field.
- I would highly recommend students apply to present at an ABCT convention because this opportunity provides you with access to presentations on exciting new research in the field, and it also allows you to connect with other professionals in your area. I would also recommend joining a special interest group that matches your interests!
Anna Bartuska, B.S./B.A.
- My primary research interests focus on improving mental health care for underserved populations through treatment adaptation and provider-level implementation strategies, such as training and consultation. I am particularly interested applying this type of work to increase evidence-based practice effectiveness and access in resource-limited settings.
- Throughout each step of my research career, the ABCT community has been a consistent source of support. ABCT events have enabled me to meet (and stayed connected with) researchers across the country who have expanded my thinking, shared invaluable resources, and provided mentorship.
- If you’re considering becoming more involved in ABCT, I would highly recommend attending the annual ABCT convention—attend a session about a topic that you don’t have much familiarity with and say hi to someone you don’t know. I’m confident that there are numerous ABCT members that would be delighted to meet you, myself included!
Claris Velez, B.S.
- I am primarily interested in diversity, equity, and inclusion training for clinicians. I am also interested in implementation science.
- ABCT has been helpful to me because it has made networking much less intimidating than I had anticipated when I started graduate school. The dissemination and implementation science special interest group is full of people who are both extremely knowledgeable and approachable; it has been wonderful to have access to a community with similar research interests to mine.
- If a student were interested in joining ABCT, I would tell them to attend and present at the ABCT conventions. The conventions are fun and also keep students updated on what is new in the field. I would also tell them to find a SIG with interests that align with their own.
Emma Eaton, B.S.
- My research goals center around developing ways for improving the accessibility and efficacy of community mental health centers and/or programs. I aim to help design community-informed interventions that are both sustainable and community-driven, especially as it relates to trauma within marginalized communities.
Jenna Kim, B.A.
- I am primarily interested in improving mental health literacy and understanding how the general public perceives mental health problems and treatments. I also have a specific interest in the etiology and treatment of anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
- I am currently an ABCT member, and the resources for clinical work and research have been very helpful. Attending the annual ABCT convention has also been advantageous for me as a student clinician because of the numerous training and workshops that are provided.
- In terms of getting involved in ABCT activities, I would recommend applying to present at an ABCT convention and joining a SIG, such as DIS SIG. This year was my first experience, and I was delighted to share my research with scholars who were eager to learn more about the dissemination and implementation research that my lab is currently working on.
Jessica M. J. Lin, B.A.
- I am interested in studying ways to improve mental health care for people with multiple minoritized identities. I am particularly interested in working with queer communities of color and conducting research to help inform policies.
- ABCT has introduced me to various types of careers in psychology. It has helped expand my vocational horizon and provided experiential learning opportunities in a safe, supportive environment.
- I highly recommend joining a SIG and attending their social events. You never know who you’ll connect with, and it’s a wonderful way to network and learn about existing and upcoming opportunities!
Kamini Kannan, M.S.
- My research interests include how to best use implementation supports to improve trauma treatment access and delivery. I am particularly interested in using qualitative methods to study organizational-level facilitators to effective treatment implementation.
- Engaging in ABCT events has complimented my graduate training. I have further developed both my clinical and research skills by attending panels and symposiums. ABCT has also provided informal opportunities to meet researchers at various stages at a national-level. ABCT also has a great journal, the Behavior Therapist, which is an excellent read and journal to pursue for publication.
- Attending the annual ABCT convention is something I cannot recommend enough. As a student member of ABCT, it has been especially meaningful to form connections with fellow graduate students. This wouldn’t have been possible without joining the DIS SIG to meet scholars with similar interests. Also, consider getting involved in DIS SIG career development programming, such as a mentor-mentee program, and attending student-led office hours where different topics (applying to PhD programs and internship, incorporating D&I into dissertations, applying for independent funding, and engaging in community-based work) are discussed.
Alayna Park, Ph.D.
Dr. Alayna Park is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Palo Alto University. Dr. Park completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at UCLA and her predoctoral internship at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System. Her research is driven by the goal of improving the accessibility and effectiveness of mental health services. She is particularly interested in re-designing mental health programs and developing decision support tools for mitigating racial and ethnic mental health disparities. Dr. Park is an associate editor for the Behavior Therapist and serves as the Communications Officer for the Dissemination and Implementation Science (DIS) SIG.
The mission of the ADDRESS Mental Health lab is to promote human well-being and functioning through improving the accessibility, quality, and effectiveness of mental health services, particularly for historically underserved communities. This work focuses on three interrelated pursuits: (1) enhancing mental health treatment engagement; (2) re-designing mental health programs; and (3) supporting evidence-based practice in diverse and dynamic contexts.
How long have you been a member of ABCT?
I have been a member of ABCT since I started graduate school in 2014.
How often and why do you attend the ABCT convention?
I have attended the ABCT convention every year since 2013. I appreciate the opportunity to present and discuss mental health services research with scientists and practitioners, to partake in DIS SIG events, and most of all, to connect and catch up with cherished colleagues and friends.
How do you stay current with developments in the field (research and/or practice and/or policy)?
I have created Google Scholar alerts and subscribed to receive the table of contents of relevant journals, and I read a lot of abstracts. I appreciate the increasing number of recorded presentations that are freely available online, and I often listen to these recordings (including the on-demand presentations from the 2021 ABCT convention) when I am walking my dog or doing chores. I am also grateful to have a position that supports my love for learning and desire to regularly attend conferences and trainings. Additionally, I strive to attend presentations at the annual ABCT convention that are both related and unrelated to my primary research interests to expand my current thinking about how to promote human well-being and functioning.
How has ABCT helped you/your lab professionally (e.g., network/collaborate, stay current with developments in the field, meet prospective/former trainees)?
As a graduate student, I looked forward to the annual ABCT convention to present my research, learn about innovative ways to promote mental health, and build collaborations with incredible researchers. As a lab director, I still look forward to those things, and now have the joy of seeing my students present their research and grow their professional networks.
Does your lab have any traditions? Does your lab do anything together for fun?
Our lab was established in 2020, and I am grateful for my students helping develop our lab culture and climate – one aspect of which is at least quarterly social events. We have gathered (often virtually) for happy hours, dinners, game nights, and a virtual escape room.
What advice would you give prospective trainees (either in general, or to those applying to your lab specifically)?
Be willing to seek different experiences. It can help you figure out what you do and do not enjoy and, consequently, help you pursue paths that bring you joy and meaning and steer away from paths that do not. Many respected mental health professionals have not had a straightforward career path, and there can be great value from incorporating different perspectives into your work.