Unleashing the Power of Prevention

Improving Behavioral Health and Reducing Disparities

Our Partnership

As part of the Grand Challenge for Social Work of ensuring healthy development for all youth, we partnered with the University of Washington for a project designed to reduce the prevalence of behavioral health problems and combat the racial and socioeconomic disparities in behavioral health care. Combining the expertise of scholars from multiple research institutions, we sought to contribute to a collaborative effort to develop knowledge that can influence policy and help create near- and long-term solutions.

About DU Research

We leverage cross-institutional collaboration to address some of today’s most pressing challenges, producing interdisciplinary solutions that influence policymakers to effectively serve the public good. From Stanford to UChicago to NYU, we’ve refined our collaborative process through years of mutually beneficial relationships with institutions nationwide to understand and address challenges like climate change, HIV and youth homelessness.

DU’s current research efforts have been featured in news outlets like The New York Times. They include…

  • exploring the effects of felony disenfranchisement.
  • employing lasers as the medium for quantum science.
  • using theatre to heal and rehabilitate inmates.

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About the Project

This was a national project with a seven-step action plan to increase the implementation and evaluation of preventive interventions for behavioral health problems in children and youth. As a Grand Challenge for Social Work, this is one of the most essential goals of the social work field. 

The project worked with states to ensure they have the necessary infrastructure in place to deliver effective interventions while developing a curricula for a prevention workforce. Additionally, we partnered with a collaborative of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to explore the administration of healthy parenting programs in primary care settings. 

This project was a collaboration between the University of Denver, the University of Washington and the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

Discover Research at DU

Jeff Jenson

Jeff Jenson is the Philip D. and Eleanor G. Winn Professor for Children and Youth in the Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver. His scholarship focuses on exploring behavioral health systems and outcomes for children and youth, and his writings have been featured in a wide range of books and scholarly publications. Dr. Jenson is Chair of the Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health and co-lead of Unleashing the Power of Prevention, an initiative of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare’s Grand Challenge: Ensure Healthy Development for all Youth.