Skip to main content


The UCLA STAND for Community Colleges Innovation Center

Housed within the Depression Grand Challenge, UCLA’s new ALACRITY Center, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, builds on UCLA’s commitment to improve treatments and make them more accessible.

Why is UCLA focused on Community Colleges?

There is new public appreciation for the public health burden of depression and anxiety and its connection to risky substance use, unemployment, and suicide. Our existing systems are struggling to meet the increasing needs for support for young adults. The need is especially high at community colleges where more than one in three are affected by depression alone. These students face psychosocial risk factors and life challenges that contribute to and complicate depression and anxiety, such as chronic food insecurity and homelessness. Their need is compounded by limited to no mental health resources. College administrators recognize this mental health gap as the number one priority. Current treatment models are simply inadequate for the crisis. In response to this crisis and with the interest of creating a new scalable model, UCLA developed the STAND system of care. The NIMH has provided UCLA funding to enhance STAND and to develop a plan to make it available more broadly.

What does UCLA expect to accomplish with the Innovation Center?

  1. Optimize the effectiveness of the STAND model
  2. Optimize implementation of STAND
  3. Develop a sustainable and generalizable plan for implementing STAND in other community colleges

What is the initial focus of the Innovation Center?

Research activities will start with four projects building on the STAND at ELAC implementation that first became operational in 2021 thanks to a novel collaboration between UCLA, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, and East Los Angeles College.

In addition to specific research projects, the innovation center will focus on stakeholder engagement, training and mentorship, better understanding the needs of other California Community Colleges and identifying potential funding sources to make STAND responsive and scalable to the needs of community colleges.

Who is leading the Innovation Center?

The Innovation Center is led by Michelle Craske, PhD (Distinguished Professor, Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry) and Kate Wolitzky-Taylor, PhD. (Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry). See the current team.

Continue to check back for updates

Please continue to check back on this page for updates and in the future for a link to a dedicated website.

The ALACRITY Center is part of the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge. The research is support by a National Institute of Mental Health grant (P50MH126337) and services delivered through STAND at ELAC are supported by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health under the Public Partnership for Wellbeing. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or LACDMH.