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Promising Program Seal

Interpersonal Psychotherapy - Adolescent Skills Training

Blueprints Program Rating: Promising

An 8-week in-school program designed to reduce and prevent depressive symptoms in adolescents by improving communication skills and interpersonal relationships.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy – Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST) is a school-based preventive mental health program targeted to youth with depressive symptoms. Because the program targets young people who are at risk for depression but do not have a mental health diagnosis, the program cannot typically be funded by Medicaid or other private insurance. Rather, student support staffing and resources within school systems, as well as mental health funding streams, can potentially support the program.

Improving the Use of Existing Public Funds

School systems can train school social workers or counselors to deliver IPT-AST. In this way, existing school staff resources can be redirected toward the program and the new cost associated with implementing the program would be limited to the relatively low cost of training, curricula, and materials.

Allocating State or Local General Funds

School Districts can opt to allocate their local or state school budget funds to help to fund initial training and purchase of curricula and materials.

Maximizing Federal Funds

Formula Grants: The core education, and behavioral health formula funds are potentially options for needed start-up funding, or to cover ongoing costs.

  • The Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHSBG) can fund a variety of mental health promotion and intervention activities and is a potential source of support for IPT-AST.
  • The Child and Maternal Health Services Block Grant (Title V) is a block grant focused on improving access to health care, including preventive services and mental health services for children and adolescents. Title V is meant to help fill gaps in services funded by Medicaid and other insurance programs, and could potentially support IPT-AST if the local public health department is working in partnership with the school district to support implementation of the program.
  • Title I, the federal block grant supporting educational services for disadvantaged children and youth, can potentially support curricula purchase and initial training for the program.
  • Title IV A, an education formula grant created with passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, supports programs and services aimed at keeping students safe and healthy. This funding stream is very well aligned with IPT-AST and could be used to fund training, curricula, materials, and staffing for the program.

Discretionary Grants: Grants that could potentially support IPT-AST can be found in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) within the Department of Health and Human Services as well as in the Department of Education.

Foundation Grants and Public-Private Partnerships

Foundation grants can be considered for the cost of initial training of group leaders or ongoing curricula purchases and to fill gaps in funding from public sources. Local education foundations or Parent Teacher Organizations may be able to help fund the relatively low cost of initial training.