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NORC has helped organizations, policymakers, and providers address behavioral health concerns ranging from adolescent substance use to suicide among veterans.

Substance use and mental health disorders are major public health concerns in almost every community in the country. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these concerns, leading to mental health and substance use challenges that have impacted almost every community in the country.

NORC has expertise in nearly all facets of behavioral health research, including the integration of primary care and behavioral health services; screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT); innovations in financing and reimbursement of behavioral health treatment; suicide prevention; workforce development; and communication science. 

NORC also has expertise in substance use and suicide prevention training, technical assistance, curriculum development, program evaluation, and issues specifically targeting adolescents and young adults. NORC began working on opioid issues in 2008 when we were among the first to document disparities in opioid use and treatment seeking in the Appalachian region. NORC's Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis has conducted several studies and developed resources such as our Appalachian Overdose Mapping Tool and our Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Toolkit. We’ve also done extensive work with the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute and other organizations to study the impact of tobacco marketing, particularly marketing that targets young people and people of color. Other projects include: 

  • Managing Unhealthy Alcohol Use in Primary Care Initiative which seeks to advance a patient-centered health care system through screening, management, and medication treatment;
  • CDC-funded North Dakota Healthcare, Opportunity, Prevention, and Education in Suicide prevention (ND HOPES) which aims to address the needs of three disproportionately affected populations - rural residents, veterans, and LGBTQ+ youth - through targeted surveillance, training, implementation, and evaluation;
  • How Right Now, a communications campaign designed to promote and strengthen the emotional well-being and resiliency of populations adversely affected by COVID-19–related stress, grief, and loss;
  • Assisting the Department of Veterans Affairs with support of a national surveillance system that will document the prevalence and trends in self-directed violence among veterans.

Behavioral Health Experts

Highlighted Projects

LSF Health System Suicide Prevention & SBIRT Training

A suicide prevention training series to build the confidence and competence of LSF Health System staff


LSF Health Systems

ND HOPES Suicide Prevention Initiative

Implementing a multi-tiered approach to suicide prevention in western North Dakota


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention