Social Solutions and Services Research

With much discussion and action around the need for better care and innovative approaches to behavioral health care services, disparities in access, engagement and recovery remain.

Through our newly envisioned Department of Social Solutions and Services Research at NKI, it is our goal to lead community-relevant research and evaluation that is attentive to the social and structural determinants of health that directly impact mental health and substance use services among populations where disparities are greatest across New York State.

Mission and Scope

The work done within the Division of Social Solutions and Services Research extends beyond the clinic walls, to solving the persistent problem of disparities in access to both prevention and treatment services, such that wellness and recovery can be realized for all New Yorkers.

At NKI, this opportunity exists given its multi-disciplinary research approach. Our team is engaged in investigating creative solutions operating at both individual and structural levels, to optimize effective and efficient delivery of mental health care.

Due to new national and state policy reforms, connecting highest need communities to prevention, wellness, and recovery is a high priority for the Office of Mental Health, as well as for NKI.

Research Overview

Our research efforts focus on long-standing individual and structural barriers to prevention, wellness, and recovery that have been most difficult to address and typically include unstable housing, criminal justice involvement, and substance use dependence.

These factors are, in turn, intertwined with race and ethnicity, income, immigration status, language barriers, aging, and culturally-based factors including various forms of stigma and discrimination that often accompany these challenging life circumstances.

Testing innovative approaches (such as the use of mental health peer advocates) to improve quality service outcomes, and using robust epidemiologic and services research methods are vital for achieving successful translation, implementation, and sustainability.

Our Affiliations

SSSR has a large network of past and present collaborating organizations throughout New York State, including SUNY at Albany, NYU Silver School of Social Work, NYU Wagner School of Public Administration, NYU Child Study Center, Mt Sinai Hospital, Fordham University, John Jay College (CUNY), Columbia University School of Social Work, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York City Human Resources Administration, NYS Psychiatric Institute, New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, Bellevue and Kings County Hospitals, Center for Urban Community Services, the Mental Health Empowerment Project, Patient Centered Outcomes Institute, Mental Health America, and the NYS Office of Temporary Disabilities and Assistance.