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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to Enhance Educational Outcomes Among Students with Psychiatric Disabilities in Post-Secondary Education.

Principal Investigator: Weili Lu, PhD.

NIDILRR Funding: FY 20 $199,980; FY 21 $199,980; FY 22 $200,000.

Abstract: This project tailors an existing evidence-based intervention, Integrated Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), in order to create a telehealth-based CBT intervention that meets the unique needs of individuals with psychiatric disabilities during their post-secondary education. This project addresses the mental health and educational needs of a critical target population, specifically individuals with psychiatric disabilities and co-occurring PTSD who are seeking post-secondary education, in order to improve educational outcomes and prevent future disability in this vulnerable population. Individuals with psychiatric disabilities experience increased exposure to trauma. The prevalence of co-occurring PTSD ranges from 28-43% in this group. Persons with PTSD have higher drop-out rates and lower success rates in educational programs. This project integrates critical strategies such as exploring disclosure, requesting accommodations, self-advocacy, stigma reduction, and CBT skills in this intervention. Modification is informed by input from persons with lived experiences and stakeholders. The project includes a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of telehealth-based CBT, in comparison with treatment as usual among students with psychiatric disabilities obtaining their post-secondary education. This telehealth approach may remove barriers in accessing mental health care, reducing stigma, and may have potential for broad dissemination. Products from this project include a telehealth treatment manual and preliminary data on its acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness in reducing PTSD symptoms and improving educational outcomes.

You can view the full flyer by clicking here.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (I-CBT), a telehealth assisted CBT intervention for PTSD that incorporates input from peers with lived experience, with attention to stigmatized beliefs towards self and community members, exploration of the students’ preferences on disclosure, educational materials on appropriate accommodations for PTSD and psychiatric conditions in educational settings, in order to address the functional goal of educational functioning. In this study, 114 college students with psychiatric disabilities will be recruited, enrolled in the study, and completed the telehealth CBT intervention. This study will collect data on student’s vocational, educational, and psychological outcomes as a result of completing the telehealth CBT intervention. 

Please feel free to reach out and contact us if you are interested. Please send an email to or send an email to Dr. Lu


Focus Group for Integrated Supported Education Services for College Students with PTSD


The purpose of this proposed study is to conduct focus groups to explore stakeholder’s perspectives to apply to the development of a modified CBT manual for college students with psychiatric disabilities and co-occurring PTSD. We are looking for college students with PTSD, family members and professionals who work with college students with PTSD to attend focus groups, held separately for each group. You will be paid $30 in Amazon gift card for your participation.