/////UAMS Psychiatry Department Reaches Students through Museum of Discovery
UAMS Psychiatry Department Reaches Students through Museum of Discovery 2018-01-05T09:16:50+00:00

JAN. 6, 2006 | Students visiting the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock are learning the science behind mental health by participating in the Partners in Behavioral Health Sciences (PIBHS) educational program through the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).


The one-hour program, “Pathways to Hope” developed by Museum of Discovery educators in consultation with PIBHS faculty has taught more than 1,300 students about the brain, depression and the bio-psycho-social model of mental health since February 2004. This program includes lesson plans for activities to be completed prior to and following a visit to a museum exhibit also developed by PIBHS.


The program is a collaboration of the Museum of Discovery and PIBHS, a program of the Department of Psychiatry in the UAMS College of Medicine. Funding for this program was provided by the UAMS Department of Psychiatry Foundation Board with additional support from a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health.


Also, more than 2,750 K-12 teachers and school personnel have participated in more than 30,000 hours of professional development in the behavioral health sciences through PIBHS. All professional development activities in the PIBHS program target both the state and the National Science Foundation science education frameworks and benchmarks.


Chris Rule, a licensed certified social worker in the Department of Psychiatry and the PIBHS project coordinator, said the collaboration reaches far beyond the students who experience it.


“The teachers share the information they receive through PIBHS with all of their classes, and we have found that the students share the information with their friends and families. This is a wonderful way to reduce the stigma of mental illness and reach out through other students,” Rule said.


The goal of PIBHS is to develop and evaluate a science-based educational program on the biology, origin, prevention and treatment of mental illness through a partnership of researchers, clinicians, primary and secondary educators, school personnel and students. PIBHS is made possible by a five-year, $1.5 million Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) grant from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health.  This was the first SEPA grant in the country to focus solely on behavioral health issues. PIBHS has four specific objectives:

  • Improve awareness of the advances in the recognition, prevention and treatment of mental disorders in K-12 teachers and students. 
  • Reduce stigma by dispelling myths about mental illness. 
  • Enhance access to mental health services for students and teachers. 
  • Increase student interest in the science of mental illness.

“PIBHS is proud of its five-year record of service,” Rule said. “This not only benefits the individual faculty by providing service opportunities important for promotion and tenure, training, and linkages with educational systems in the community, it also benefits their departments and UAMS as a whole by portraying an institutional expectation and commitment to service.


Rule said that one teacher on a post-course evaluation stated, “I love coming to PIBHS programs. It makes me proud of UAMS. I wish all our institutions were this effective.”

Links on This Page