Jessica Schleider, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Clinical Psychology PhD program, was awarded the Rising Star Award by the International Society for Research on Internet Interventions (ISRII) in recognition of her “outstanding and impactful work and research in digital mental health.”
ISRII is the major society for digital health research. The announcement was made at the ISRII annual conference September 21 at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA.
Schleider also serves as a faculty affiliate at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and was an academic consultant to the World Bank’s Education Global Practice. Over the past four years, in support of her research on brief, digital, and scalable interventions for depression and anxiety in young people, she has secured more than $6 million in federal (National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Health Services Research Administration), foundation and industry-partnered grant funding.
Schleider has pioneered and formalized a new area of clinical intervention science — single-session interventions (SSIs) for mental health — that opens tangible paths toward reducing mental illness and promoting resiliency at scale, with a focus on youth depression and anxiety.
“Jessica is so deserving of this honor,” said Joanne Davila, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology. “She truly is a star, and the Department of Psychology is incredibly fortunate to have her as a member of our faculty.”
Schleider’s lab, the Lab for Scalable Mental Health, is leading more than a dozen clinical trials — and collaborating on many more, in at least five countries — that reflect steps toward enhancing SSI effectiveness and precision; personalizing SSIs for youth with minoritized identities; and streamlining SSI dissemination to those most likely to benefit. It recently partnered with a digital mental health non-profit (kokocares.org) to adapt, integrate and test SSIs within a large social media platform (Tumblr). A paper was recently published in JMIR Formative Research reporting results that show how SSIs successfully reduced users’ hopelessness and self-hate (ps < .0001) when embedded directly into Tumblr (N= 6,179).
Schleider has won numerous awards, including the National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award; the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies’ President’s New Researcher Award; the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology’s Susan Nolen-Hoeksema Early Career Research Award; and the Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology’s Abidin Early Career Award. Her work has also been featured in multiple media outlets, including The Atlantic, Vox, and U.S. News & World Report, and in 2020, she was chosen as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Healthcare for her work on single-session digital mental health interventions.
ISRII, founded in 2004, promotes the scientific study of information and communication technologies targeting behavioral, psychosocial, health and mental health outcomes. These “Internet interventions” are broadly inclusive of existing and emerging technologies, including, but not limited to, the web, mobile and wireless devices and applications, digital gaming, virtual reality, remote sensing, and robotics. ISRII members include researchers, clinicians, engineers and computer scientists, informaticists, software developers, economists, and policy experts across the public and private sectors, who are committed to fostering excellence in evidence-based eHealth interventions.