Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $709,393)
The purpose of this award, funded under the OVC FY 2019 Field-Generated Program to Improve Services for Victims of Crime, will support an innovative, field-generated approach to address gaps in the availability of resources for crime victims. This award is made under Purpose Area 2: Innovations in Telehealth. Projects in this purpose area aim to meet the critical needs of those affected by violence by providing healthcare, counseling, mental health programs and/or assistance from a distance via technology.
The New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) will use this award to partner with Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry to deliver an internationally recognized evidence-based mental health intervention to elder abuse victims and victims of crimes committed by strangers, who screen positive for depression. The Tele-PROTECT project will provide the Psychotherapy Options to Elderly Clients Together (PROTECT) psychotherapy treatment program remotely and efficiently, using a secure internet platform to communicate with senior victims. The goal of the proposed program is to bridge the divide between crime victims, victim services providers, and mental health services providers. The objectives are to: 1) Develop a tele-behavioral health program for victims of elder abuse and crime and to test whether this provides a safe way to reach victims who would not otherwise seek or receive services; 2) Establish a referral base by leveraging existing partnerships with law enforcement, criminal justice, victim services, aging services, housing development, and mental health services. This will expand the scope of the evidence-based PROTECT Program which will now serve crime victims, in addition to elder abuse victims; and 3) Evaluate and document project activities for dissemination and replication by local, state, and national audiences. This innovative service delivery model will enable more seniors to be served, and in the comfort, convenience, and safety of the setting that they choose.