Foundation AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL
Better school-based care
APF Pearson Early Career grantee Aaron Lyon is working to bring more evidence-based mental
health interventions to school children.
BY JAMIE CHAMBERLIN
Psychologists have developed a wide array of research-tested
interventions to treat children’s anxiety,
depression and other mental health
challenges. Yet often children go without
such services for many reasons, such as a
lack of training for school-based mental
Aaron Lyon, PhD, of the University of
Washington, is working to change that.
With a $12,000 Pearson Early Career
Grant from the American Psychological
Foundation, Lyon is conducting a pilot
study in three Seattle secondary schools
to determine the barriers the schools’
counselors face in providing evidence-based interventions.
“The goal is to develop an
intervention that fits with how school
counselors practice,” says Lyon, an acting
assistant professor in the department of
psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the
university’s School of Medicine.
Building on interventions that
have been successful elsewhere, Lyon
will tailor new versions for the school
context, taking into account such factors
as how many counselors are on staff,
how much access they have to students
during the school day and how many
referrals they get in a typical day.
“Public school counselors are a
dedicated, competent group and we
want to figure out the best ways to
support them,” he says.