Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Dr. Susan Elswick witnessed a major impact on mental health service delivery in the region. In June 2020, Dr. Elswick received funding from the Urban Child Institute and the University of Memphis Institute for Interdisciplinary Memphis Partnerships to Advance Community Transformation (iIMPACT) to launch the SMART (School Mental Health Access to Resources through Telehealth) Center. This research, training and treatment center is located within in the School of Social Work within the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy (SUAPP) under the infrastructure of iIMPACT Program and the Interprofessional Community Health Clinic (ICHC) at the University of Memphis.
The SMART Research, Training, and Treatment Center is a 100% tele-behavioral health clinic that offers patients virtual counseling and psychotherapy services. The clients the SMART center serve range from 3 to 21 years of age and include children, youth, young adults, and families/ caregivers/ educators. The SMART Center providers currently include 1 Tennessee licensed clinical social workers (LCSW), 2 Tennessee licensed master social workers, 1 bachelors level intern and 3 graduate level interns, who are organized into treatment teams led by a clinical supervisor/ faculty member.
The University of Memphis School of Social Work SMART Research, Training and Treatment Center aims to:
- Provide evidence-based interventions for school-based mental health programming
- Increase access for school-based behavioral health programming in underserved areas
- Offer training on best practices in tele-behavioral health
- Develop opportunities to research the use of technology in practice
- Provide direct services to the states most vulnerable populations
South Central Telehealth Resource Center has worked with the University of Memphis and Dr. Elswick on many projects. Dr. Elswick stated, “SCTRC has been a valuable resource that I have shared with other local providers trying to start telehealth programming during COVID-19 and beyond. I have enjoyed the relationship I have with SCTRC and their supporting of U of M through connections in the community and grant collaborations regarding resources. Additionally, I have provided a few professional presentations on the topics of tele-behavioral health to the SCTRC programming.” SCTRC is looking forward to the continual partnership between U of M, SMART Center and Dr. Elswick.
For more information about this awesome program, visit https://www.memphis.edu/smartcenter/