literature. Improved formal linkages between service and research programs would help build the implementation knowledge base without redirecting service resources toward research and vice versa.

Technical Assistance and Clearinghouses

Federal agencies also provide support for a variety of activities aimed at building the capacity of states, communities, and organizations to provide services aimed at strengthening families, preventing youth risk factors, and designing systems of care. Federal agencies fund numerous technical assistance centers, often linked to specific grant programs (see Box 12-2). Many of the centers provide online guidance on program design, technical assistance and/or training on program design and implementation, and links to other resources. Unlike 1994, when there was “no federal clearinghouse for published information on prevention of mental disorders” (Institute of Medicine, 1994, p. 424), there is now a plethora of resource centers to provide information on preventive intervention. There appears to be no shortage of sources of information, although using them requires navigating through a maze of resources, and selection of the best program to match site variations and desired outcomes may be a daunting task.

In addition, through its Strategic Prevention Framework, SAMHSA aims to increase implementation of prevention and early intervention programs. Specific to substance abuse prevention, SAMHSA funds five Regional Centers for the Application of Prevention Technologies,18 which provide training and technical assistance and offer a range of online resources through Prevention Pathways.19 Technical assistance resources on the Communities That Care initiative (see Box 11-1) designed to help communities match evaluated programs with local risk and protective factors, are available on SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework website.20 SAMHSA’s Suicide Prevention Resource Center provides training to strengthen suicide prevention networks, and most of the technical assistance centers provide some level of informal implementation training.


A well-trained workforce, an educated public, and an informed complement of policy makers and funders who will support prevention are all important components of success. For prevention of MEB disorders, the workforce must come from many disciplines, each of which should work

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement