Evidence-Based Practices

The term “evidence-based practice” (when used in providing services to individuals with severe mental illness) comes from a field of research on practices that increase the individual’s ability to be an active member of their community by increasing their social and economic independence. The focus is on the person within his or her environment versus the symptom or diagnosis.

Historically mental health outcome research has been based on a specific diagnosis and a treatment protocol, evaluating the success or limitations in reducing symptoms of the illness. Examples of empirically validated treatment protocols include cognitive behavioral therapy for individuals with depression. The research demonstrates symptom reduction as an outcome. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is another treatment protocol that has demonstrated some good outcomes in terms of symptom reduction, and decreased hospitalizations for individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder. In this research approach a specific mental illness is identified, symptom reduction is identified as the outcome, and a specific treatment is studied. The primary focus is on diagnosis, treatment protocol, and symptom reduction.

In 1998 a national consensus panel identified 6 practices that were seen as effective models for individuals with Severe Mental Illness. "Effective" was identified as increasing the person’s ability to function in the community. Instead of looking at treatment approaches for individuals with specific diagnoses, the panel focused on practices that were effective for individuals with a range of diagnoses, but with a commonality of all having a serious mental illness. Since then, “tool kits” have been developed to provide “tools” that would help providers implement these practices.

Evidence-Based, Emerging and Promising Practices Being Implemented in Kansas

Under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) model, practices are broken up into three types: Evidence-Based, Emerging, and Promising. The category for any particular practice depends on the amount and validity of the research involved in it.

To learn more about the practices being implemented in Kansas, please click on one of the following categories:

  • Evidenced-Based: Rigorous research, good outcomes

  • Emerging: Strong research

  • Promising: Some research

Who to Contact About Evidence-Based and Promising Practices in Kansas

For further information about Evidence-Based and Promising Practices in Kansas, contact:

Melissa Bogart-Starkey
KDADS Community Services & Programs Commission,
Behavioral Health Services New England Building, 503 S Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS 66603
(785) 296-3471
E-Mail Melissa