Training Intervention for the Engagement of Families (TIES) is a comprehensive training program designed to educate mental health professionals about the range of barriers families face in accessing mental health services and to provide skills and resources to overcome those barriers. During a TIES training, evidence-based engagement interventions that have been shown to effectively engage and retain children and families in mental health treatment are shared, discussed, and practiced. TIES training is based on strong evidence that focused engagement strategies implemented as early as the initial contact with the help-seeking family can have significant, positive effects on family attendance and engagement throughout mental health services. Using these engagement strategies, mental health professionals can help to increase family members' ability and motivation to access and receive quality mental health care.
The foundation for TIES is based on extensive research conducted by Dr. Mary McKay, Director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research in New York. Dr. McKay and her colleagues found consistent barriers that hindered families’ access to and retention in the mental health system. As a result, Dr. McKay developed a training to translate these findings into the executable engagement interventions found in TIES (McKay, McCadam, & Gonzales, 1996; McKay, Nudelman, & McCadam, 1996; McKay, Stoewe, McCadam, & Gonzales, 1998; McKay & Bannon, 2004; McKay et al., 2004).