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History

The REsource for Advancing Children's Health (REACH) Institute, first incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2006, was formally launched in July 2007 to improve the emotional and behavioral health of children by developing tools and techniques for renewing the practices of professionals, parents and others entrusted with their care.

Founded by Peter S. Jensen, M.D., REACH enhances the relevance of mental health treatments by shortening the time it takes to put today’s scientific advances to work for our nation’s youth.

While serving as the Associate Director of Child and Adolescent Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Dr. Peter S. Jensen saw that despite remarkable advances in the scientific knowledge of brain development, mental health problems, and their treatments, healthcare professionals were not consistently or effectively using this knowledge to diagnose and treat common childhood mental disorders. More unsettling was the widening gap between scientific knowledge and its application to help children and adolescents.

After leaving NIMH in 2000, Dr. Jensen went to Columbia University to serve as the Founding Director of the Center for the Advancement of Children's Mental Health (CACMH), with the goal of developing the necessary methods for closing the gap between science and practice. While at Columbia, he developed the core methods REACH uses today.

The central strategy is to bring together leading scientists, mental health experts, agencies, primary care providers, parents and schools to identify the best scientific findings available to help children. This is followed by the implementation, dissemination and evaluation of these methods, in other words, "putting science to work."

The need for an effective and independent resource dedicated solely to this purpose led to the formation of REACH.