Meet Elizabeth “Liz” Arnold, Director of the New Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training

 In Social Work

The College of Health and Public Affairs opened the Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training (CBHRT) in spring 2017. It is the first center established in the School of Social Work. The new director, Elizabeth “Liz” Arnold, sat down to talk about the vision of CBHRT and its future impact on UCF and the Central Florida.

Elizabeth Arnold, director, Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training

Drexler B. James: What is the vision for CBHRT?

Liz Arnold: Our vision is to create a center, which will foster collaborative partnerships between mental health professionals, health care providers and behavioral health researchers whose united expertise can create cutting-edge solutions for improving the health and well-being of diverse populations. The center will focus on partnerships … to create innovations to address behavioral health issues in vulnerable populations. We want to be a leader in evidence-based interventions that are focused on clinical care, prevention and population-based research, with an emphasis on health disparities.

James: What expertise do you have in this area of research?

Arnold: I have worked in the field of behavioral health for 25 years as both a clinician and a researcher. I have been an investigator on many grants focused on behavioral health research throughout my career. In addition, I have been an advocate for mental health and have a commitment to underserved populations.

James: Why is it important to establish the center here at UCF?

Arnold: UCF continues to grows and expand research in a variety of areas.  Growing our research in behavioral health will be an asset to the university and the community. There continues to be a need for effective behavioral health interventions that can help improve the quality of life for individuals and families who are dealing with behavioral health problems. Through the collaborative work and research of the faculty here at UCF, we hope to be a part of improving care for people throughout the state, region and nation.

James: What benefit do you hope CBHRT will bring to UCF and Central Florida?

Arnold: This center addresses two of the UCF goals: becoming both a leader locally, regionally and internationally in research prominence and a leading partnership university.

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