Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) Research

MHF Research and Grants

NBCC International works hard to ensure the MHF program meets the needs of communities it serves. With help from dedicated partners, staff and researchers, we are proud to foster the continual search for new insights on the impact and effectiveness of the Mental Health Facilitator program.

Concept Research

Meet a principal investigator and author of the MHF curriculum and its supporting concept paper.

Concept Researcher Profile

J. Scott Hinkle, Ph.D., NCC, CCMHC | NBCC and Affiliates
MHF Program

J. Scott Hinkle, NBCC’s director of professional development, researched and codeveloped the Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) program to help address the care-need gap in global mental health.

Dr. Hinkle more recently authored Population-Based Mental Health Facilitation (MHF): A Grassroots Strategy That Works, the concept paper that explains the foundation of MHF and its mission to increase sustainable community mental health care access. You can access Dr. Hinkle’s article free of charge online in The Professional Counselor.

External Grants

Meet the researchers who have been awarded grants to implement the MHF program, evaluate program effectiveness and work to improve our curricula.

Grant Recipient Profile

Lindsey Nichols, Ph.D., NCC, LCPC | University of Montana
MHF-Educator’s Edition

Lindsey Nichols currently serves as assistant professor of counselor education at the University of Montana. Her chief research interests include understanding cultural perspectives, knowledge and approaches to positive mental health support.

Inspired by her parents’ work as teachers and her own experiences in the field of education, Dr. Nichols explores pathways to empower educators and increase school community connectedness.

Her current research with the MHF-Educator’s Edition curriculum focuses on how teachers explore these concepts and their effects on student academic and behavioral outcomes.

Grant Recipient Profiles

Atsuko Seto, Ph.D., NCC, ACS, LPC | The College of New Jersey
Elizabeth Fier, M.A., NCC, ACS, LPC | SEED Services: Partners for Counseling & Wellness, TCNJ Alumna
Rebecca Vazquez, M.A., NCC, LAC | Doctoral Student at Regent University, TCNJ Alumna

Atsuko Seto is an associate professor and Chair of the Department of Counselor Education at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). Dr. Seto assisted the Japanese Telecounseling Association (JTA) in implementing the 30-hour MHF program as part of JTA’s efforts to increase mental health service capacity in the Tohoku region, which was significantly affected by the catastrophic 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant meltdown.

Beth Fier is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. She works primarily from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and compassion focused therapy (CFT) perspectives. Ms. Fier cofacilitated the MHF training with Dr. Seto provided by NBCC-I in partnership with JTA.

Rebecca Vazquez is a third-year doctoral student studying counselor education and supervision at Regent University, in Virginia Beach. Her involvement with the MHF program came about through her selection as an NBCC Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) fellow. As a new MHF master trainer, Ms. Vazquez looks forward to providing this training to communities both domestically and abroad.

Dr. Seto, Ms. Fier and Ms. Vazquez are all MHF program master trainers. They obtained a TCNJ School of Education mini-grant to provide the MHF-ASAP! training on TCNJ campus and in surrounding communities. The main purpose of this grant project is to raise public awareness of the importance of mental health in maintaining a person’s overall health by educating individuals and communities in the basics of mental health and helping skills.

Outcome Research

Meet the grant recipient who conducted MHF outcome research.

Researcher Profile

Melissa Luke, Ph.D., NCC, ACS, LMHC | Syracuse University
Lead Researcher and NBCC-I Research Grant Recipient

Melissa Luke is associate professor and coordinator of school counseling at Syracuse University. Her research interests include school counselor preparation, supervision and professional identity development.

Dr. Luke’s work is motivated by a desire to expand and improve counseling services for underserved populations, including counseling in a global context.

With grant support provided by the NBCC Foundation, Dr. Luke has conducted research with colleagues.


  • NBCC-I’s research team collected data on MHF program effectiveness from several schools in Malawi under the direction of Dr. Luke.
  • The final publication can be found here.


  • NBCC-I’s research team collected data on MHF program effectiveness in Mexico City under the direction of Dr. Luke.
  • Check back for more updates from NBCC-I and the research team.