School of Medicine


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  • Steven Adelsheim

    Steven Adelsheim

    Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Bio Steven Adelsheim, MD is a child/adolescent and adult psychiatrist who works to support community behavioral health partnerships locally, regionally, at the state level and nationally. He is the Director of the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Adelsheim has partnered in developing statewide mental health policy and systems, including those focused on school mental health, telebehavioral health, tribal behavioral health programs, and suicide prevention. For many years Dr. Adelsheim has been developing and implementing early detection/intervention programs for young people in school-based and primary care settings, including programs for depression, anxiety, prodromal symptoms of psychosis, and first episodes of psychosis. Dr. Adelsheim is also involved in the implementation of integrated behavioral health care models in primary care settings as well as the use of media to decrease stigma surrounding mental health issues. He is currently leading the US effort to implement the headspace model of mental health early intervention for young people ages 12-25 based in Australia. Dr. Adelsheim also leads the national clinical network for early psychosis programs called PEPPNET.

  • Mehret Assefa

    Mehret Assefa

    Program Manager, Psych/Public Mental Health & Population Sciences

    Bio Mehret Assefa, PhD, MPH is the Program Manager for the Center for Behavioral Health Services and Implementation Research (CBHSIR) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. The CBHSIR is based in the Division of Public Mental Health and Population Sciences. Ongoing research projects at CBHSIR include: integrated behavioral health services for persons with co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders; behavioral health integration in primary care; medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorders; and other implementation research projects.

    Dr. Assefa is an epidemiologist by training and has both international and domestic public health research experience in health services research with a focus on health disparities. Prior to Stanford, Dr. Assefa was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health where she was the lead investigator for a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) funded supplement grant to evaluate barriers and facilitators to seeking/accessing formal and informal health services, and health beliefs and traditional practices among resettled Somali Bantu and Bhutanese refugees.

    Currently, Dr. Assefa’s research is focused on implementation science, integrated behavioral health services for persons with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, and advancing the use of organizational measures. These measures include: measures of integrated service capacity, such as the Dual Diagnosis Capability in Addiction Treatment (DDCAT) and the Behavioral Health Integration in Medical Care (BHIMC); and the measure of contextual barriers and facilitators to the implementation processes, the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) Index.

  • Rania Awaad

    Rania Awaad

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests As the Director of the Muslims and Mental Health Lab, Dr. Awaad is dedicated to creating an academic home for the study of mental health as it relates to the Islamic faith and Muslim populations. The lab aims to provide the intellectual resources to clinicians, researchers, trainees, educators, community and religious leaders working with or studying Muslims.

  • Catherine Benedict

    Catherine Benedict

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests My research focuses on improving cancer survivorship through better understanding of long-term health outcomes and through the development of theoretically driven, evidence-based behavioral interventions to improve adjustment, risk management, and quality of life. To this end, I lead studies aimed to guide and support patient decision-making and self-management after cancer. Much of my work focuses on the experiences of young adults affected by cancer.

  • Rebecca Bernert

    Rebecca Bernert

    Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Public Mental Health and Population Sciences)

    Bio Dr. Bernert is Founding Director of the Suicide Prevention Research Laboratory, and Co-Chairs a special departmental initiative to develop a Center for Premature Mortality and Suicide Prevention. She is a suicidologist, with subspecialty expertise in suicide prevention clinical trials, standardized suicide risk assessment and best practice management, and the epidemiology of self-directed violence. She has subspecialty training in behavioral sleep medicine, with a background in sleep and circadian physiology. Her program utilizes cognitive, biologic (e.g., fMRI), and behavioral testing paradigms, with an emphasis on translational therapeutics. Dr. Bernert has collaborated with NIH, DOD, DARPA, SAMHSA, and CDC on suicide prevention initiatives; and recently served as a content expert for the White House 2015 Open Data and Innovation for Suicide Prevention #Hackathon. She has also contributed to the development of clinical practice parameters, including the 2013 VA/DOD Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Assessment and Management of Suicide Risk, with current work underway focused on investigating medical education training in suicide risk assessment and management. Her research focuses on the identification of novel therapeutic targets for suicide prevention across the lifespan, particularly those aiming to reduce stigma and enhance access to care. A specific focus of this work emphasizes the use of rapid-action, low-risk treatment approaches for the prevention of suicide. Dr. Bernert has several suicide prevention trials underway, funded by NIH and DOD, testing the preliminary efficacy of a non pharmacological insomnia treatment on suicidal behaviors. She also has several grants focused on the development of a data monitoring system for the study of local suicide clusters and emergency department based protocols to improve risk detection within pediatric suicide prevention. Our aim is to delineate transdiagnostic risk factors and biomarkers of clinical response that may inform the pathogenesis of risk and treatment innovation. An overarching mission is to harness new technologies within suicide prevention, including artificial intelligence (AI) and mobile health applications, to enhance risk detection and multidisciplinary frameworks. Advisory and advocacy work, and the way in which research guides health policy, dissemination, and national strategies for suicide prevention, represents an extension of this work. This includes recent initiatives to establish national and local guidelines for lethal means restriction and calls for advanced technology use in suicide prevention research and strategy. Last, Dr. Bernert has several pilot projects underway focused on inclusive practices in faculty diversity and development, and the way in which family-friendly policies impact faculty recruitment and retention in academic medicine.