A Statewide Common Elements Initiative for Children’s Mental Health

  • Shannon Dorsey
  • Lucy Berliner
  • Aaron R. Lyon
  • Michael D. Pullmann
  • Laura K. Murray


Many evidence-based treatments (EBTs) for child and adolescent mental health disorders have been developed, but few are available in public mental health settings. This paper describes initial implementation outcomes for a state-funded effort in Washington State to increase EBT availability, via a common elements training and consultation approach focused on four major problem areas (anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and behavioral problems). Clinicians (N = 180) reported significant improvement in their ability to assess and treat all problem areas at post-consultation. Clinicians from organizations with a supervisor-level “EBT champion” had higher baseline scores on a range of outcomes, but many differences disappeared at post-consultation. Outcomes suggest that a common elements initiative, which includes training and consultation, may positively impact clinician-level outcomes and that having “in-house” EBT expertise may provide additional benefits.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Public Mental Health Parent Management Training Behavioral Rehearsal Practice Element 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This publication was made possible in part by funding from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health Recovery and from grant numbers F32 MH086978, K08 MH095939, and R01 MH095749, awarded from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Drs. Dorsey, Lyon, and Murray are investigators with the Implementation Research Institute (IRI), at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, through an award from the National Institute of Mental Health (R25 MH080916) and the Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research & Development Service, Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI).

Conflicts of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.


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Copyright information

© National Council for Behavioral Health 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shannon Dorsey
    • 1
  • Lucy Berliner
    • 2
  • Aaron R. Lyon
    • 3
  • Michael D. Pullmann
    • 3
  • Laura K. Murray
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic StressUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Bloomberg School of Public HealthJohns Hopkins UniversitySeattleUSA

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