Areas of Study

Our research emphasizes improving mental health literacy and psychological flexibility. Many of our research studies focus on working with individuals with disabilities and individuals living in rural communities to better meet their needs. We conduct several different projects within these areas of focus based on grants we have received. Types of projects include qualitative and quantitative program evaluation and randomized controlled trials. 

Mental Health Literacy
Mental health literacy is “knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders which aid their recognition, management or prevention” (Jorm, 2012, p. 182). Dr. Ty B. Aller has created a mental health literacy program called Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy (MHAA) that can be delivered in several different formats and has been adapted for various populations including college students, those working with youth and individuals living in rural areas. In our research, we focus on evaluating the MHAA curriculum, measuring mental health literacy, and determining factors that help improve mental health literacy. Click here to learn more about the MHAA trainings.

Jorm, A. F. (2012). Mental health literacy: empowering the community to take action for better mental health. American psychologist, 67(3), 231.
Psychological Flexibility
Psychological flexibility is a construct from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a clinical model that has been used to treat a wide range of mental health concerns. It is defined as the ability to contact the present moment, consider what the current situation affords and then change or persist behavior in the act of pursuing chosen values (Hayes et al., 2006). Our research focuses on measuring and improving psychological flexibility in individuals living in rural areas, caregivers of people with dementia, and Autistic individuals. To learn more about our psychological flexibility trainings, click here.

Hayes, S. C., Bond, F. W., & Barnes-Holmes, D., Austin, J. (Eds.). (2006). Acceptance and mindfulness at work: Applying acceptance and commitment therapy and relational frame theory to organizational behavior management. New York, NY: Routledge.

Research Briefs

Our research briefs provide summarizations of our ongoing research projects. 

Chronic Health Conditions Among People With Disabilities Living in the Mountain West

Research Shorts

Our research shorts provide brief summarizations of our presentations and publications. They are a great way to learn about the work we are doing without digging through publications.

Participating in Our Research

To stay up to date on research opportunities, join our email list by filling out the form below.

1. Current Projects Recruiting Participants

The following projects are currently recruiting participants. If you are interested in participating, please follow the instructions for applying to participate through the form below.  

2. Student Mentorship

The CMHP offers undergraduate and graduate student mentorship opportunities dependent on available funding. If you are a current undergraduate or graduate student and are interested in a mentorship opportunity through the CMHP, fill out the form below and reach out via email to

Choose the option(s) that best matches your interest. To select multiple options, hold the "Shift" key and click to highlight your selections.
Briefly describe the type of research that interests you and any relevant experience or goals you have.

Selected Publications

Aller, T. B., Fauth, E. B., Kelley, H. H., Hodgskiss, S., Brown, A. L., & Hellstern, R. (2022). Associations between college students’ personal experience with mental health issues and their mental health literacy: a strengths-based perspective. Journal of Mental Health, 1-9. DOI: 10.1080/09638237.2022.2069692

Aller, T. B., Fauth, E. B., Novak, J. R., & Schwartz, S. (2021). Measuring mental health literacy: Development of the Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy Assessment Tool. Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, 17(39), 15-31. DOI:

Aller, T. B., Fauth, E. B., & Seedall, R. B. (2021). Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy (MHAA): An evaluation of a college-based mental health literacy curriculum. Mental Health and Prevention. DOI:

Aller, T. B., Hodgskiss, S., Fauth, E. B., Sheen, J. & Levin, M. (2021). Adapting therapy services in COVID-19: The utility of an online, self-guided Acceptance and Commitment Therapy program for parents of children with disabilities. Developmental Disabilities Network Journal, 1(2), 160-169. DOI:

Aller, T. B., Kelley, H. H., Fauth, E. B., & Barrett, T. S. (2022). A Non-randomized, Quasi-Experimental Comparison of Effects Between an In-person and Online Delivery of a College Mental Health Literacy Curriculum. Prevention Science, 1-8. DOI:

Aller, T. B., Russo, R., Byers, R., Howard, T., Kelley, H., & Fauth, E. B. (2022). Promoting mental health literacy in agricultural families: Leveraging the role of Extension in community programs. Family Focus!

Aller, T. B., Russo, R., Sheen, J., Wappett, M. (2019). Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities National Training Center: Using Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACTraining) in UCEDD leadership development. NADD Bulletin, 22(3), 46-53.

Brown, B., Aller, T. B., Lyons, L. K., Jensen, J. & Hodgson, J. (2021). NCAA Student Athlete Mental Health and Wellness: A Biopsychosocial Examination. Journal of Student Affairs and Research Practice. DOI: 10.1080/19496591.2021.1902820

Fauth, E. B., Gossner, J. D., & Aller, T. B. (2022) Takeaways from research on chronically stressed individuals: How dementia family caregivers’ adaptation informs pandemic experiences. Family Focus!