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University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions Mental Health Initiatives

Faculty members in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions’ department of clinical and health psychology are leading several mental health initiatives that address public health concerns. In one project, Dr. Christina McCrae, an associate professor of clinical and health psychology, and collaborators at the University of South Florida are examining interventions aimed at improving sleep in informal caregivers of persons with dementia. Although caregivers provide indispensable health care that can delay or even prevent their loved ones’ placement into formal care settings, this can be at the expense of their own health. Poor sleep on the part of the caregiver can hasten institutionalization of the person with dementia. This research aims to improve caregivers’ sleep through the pairing of a home monitoring system, which alerts caregivers of their care recipient’s nighttime movements, and an intervention for sleep behaviors delivered via Skype.