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Mental Health Training: Pathway to Early Mental Health Intervention

Description

There is an increase in the prevalence of mental health problems in the United States. Healthy People 2020’s leading mental health indicator is to increase the delivery of care to those with mental health issues and lower the number of

There is an increase in the prevalence of mental health problems in the United States. Healthy People 2020’s leading mental health indicator is to increase the delivery of care to those with mental health issues and lower the number of youth who experience a major depressive disorder. Teachers and non-teaching staff are well placed in the community to identify youth undergoing emotional distress and facilitate early interventions, yet do not receive adequate training in mental health.

A project was undertaken to determine if a mental health training intervention affected the community youth mentors knowledge, attitude and self-efficacy towards helping youth with mental health issues. Three instruments with good validity and reliability namely Mental Health Literacy Scale (MHLS), Attitudes to Severe Mental Illness (ASMI) scale, and Gatekeeper Behavior Scale were used in pre intervention, immediately post intervention and two weeks post intervention questionnaires. The Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test indicated changes in the pre and post intervention scores as significant in knowledge, and attitude between pre intervention and immediately post intervention time periods. Cohen’s effect size value suggested large, medium, small, and minimum clinical significance in the variables over period of time.

Mental health literacy narrows the gap between symptom onset and intervention. Numerous mental health trainings are currently available worldwide. Schools and after school clubs in collaboration with hospital mental health and other community agencies are better equipped to bridge the gap. School staff report better confidence in addressing mental health and behavioral health issues among youth when equipped with additional resources within the school in the form of psychologists, social workers, and counselors.

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2020-05-03

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Screening for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Behavioral Health

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Background: Non-Veteran Affair (VA) mental health care facilities are admitting increased numbers of military affiliated members due to recent changes, allowing veterans to outsource healthcare at civilian treatment centers. The VA reports less than 9 million veterans enrolled in VA

Background: Non-Veteran Affair (VA) mental health care facilities are admitting increased numbers of military affiliated members due to recent changes, allowing veterans to outsource healthcare at civilian treatment centers. The VA reports less than 9 million veterans enrolled in VA services, leaving over 50% seeking treatment from civilian providers. Given the high prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the military population, it is imperative to implement a valid and reliable screening tool at primary care facilities to ensure timely and accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Method: This project aimed to provide an evidence-based education for intake nurses to understand prevalence of PTSD and to use a screening tool Primary Care PTSD for DSM-5 (PC-PTSD-5) in a non-VA behavioral health facility.

Setting: The project site was a civilian behavioral health facility located in West Phoenix Metropolitan area. The behavioral health facility serves mental health and substance abuse needs. Project implementation focused on the intake department.

Measures: Sociodemographic data, PTSD diagnosis criteria, prevalence and PC-PTDSD-5 screening tool knowledge collected from pre and posttest evaluation. Patients’ charts for those admitted 6-week before and 6-week after the education to calculate numbers of screening tools completed by nurses at intake assessment.

Data analysis: Descriptive statistics was used to describe the sample and key measures; the Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test was used to examine differences between pre-test and post-test scores. Cohen’s effect size was used to estimate clinical significance.

Results: A total of 23 intake nurses (87.0% female, 65.2% 20-39 years old, 52.2% Caucasian, 95.6% reported having 0-10 years of experience, 56.5% completed Associate’s degree) received the education. For PTSD-related knowledge, the pre-test score (Mdn = 6.00) was significantly lower than the post-test score (Mdn = 10.00; Z= -4.23, p < .001), suggesting an increase of PTSD knowledge among nurses after the education. Regarding the diagnosis, the percentage of patients who were diagnosed with PTSD increased from (0.02% to 20% after the education).

Discussion: An evidence-based education aimed at enhancing intake nurses’ knowledge, confidence and skills implementing a brief and no-cost PTSD screening tool showed positive results, including an increase of PTSD diagnosis. The implementation of this screening tool in a civilian primary mental health care facility was feasible and helped patients connect to PTSD treatment in a timely fashion. Continued use of paper version of screening tool will be maintained at facility as an intermediary solution until final approval through parent company is received to implement into electronic medical records.

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2020-05-06

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Mental Health Application in Anxiety

Description

Background: The shortage of providers, therapists, and long waiting times for appointments in the United States is growing. Mental health technology applications (apps) expand the strategies available to people with mental health conditions to achieve their goals for well being

Background: The shortage of providers, therapists, and long waiting times for appointments in the United States is growing. Mental health technology applications (apps) expand the strategies available to people with mental health conditions to achieve their goals for well being through self-management of symptoms.

Methods: A project was undertaken at an outpatient behavioral setting in urban Arizona to determine the use and effectiveness of a mental health app called insight timer to reduce anxiety symptoms. Adult clients with anxiety symptoms were provided with the insight timer app to use over a period of eight weeks. Anxiety was evaluated with the GAD-7 scale initially and after the eight weeks of app use. Usability and the quality of the app were assessed with an app rating scale at the end of the eight weeks.

Results: Findings of the Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test indicated changes in pre and posttest assessment scores as significant (p = .028), which is a significant reduction in anxiety among seven clients who completed the 8-week intervention. the mean TI score was 15.57 (SD = 4.9), and the mean T2 score was 7.71 (SD = 5.7). Besides, Cohen's effect size value (d = 1.465) suggested large clinical significance for GAD7 in pre and posttest.

Discussion: Evidence suggests that the use of an evidence-based app can effectively reduce anxiety symptoms and improve the quality of life. The use of mental health apps like insight timer could reduce health care costs associated with unnecessary hospital admissions as well as re-hospitalizations. The routine use of apps such as the insight timer may also be beneficial to all the clients who have anxiety symptoms in outpatient as well as inpatient settings.

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2020-05-06

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Mental Health Literacy of Parents: A Pathway to Treatment for Youth with Mental Health Disorders

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Introduction: Poor knowledge and negative perceptions regarding mental health disorders are barriers to parents seeking mental health care for their child. Mental health literacy comprises both the knowledge and ability to recognize mental health disorders, combat stigma, and obtain treatment.

Introduction: Poor knowledge and negative perceptions regarding mental health disorders are barriers to parents seeking mental health care for their child. Mental health literacy comprises both the knowledge and ability to recognize mental health disorders, combat stigma, and obtain treatment. Research demonstrates increased mental health literacy increases parental help-seeking behaviors. Aim: To increase mental health literacy of parents in Maricopa County through increased access to evidence-based education and support. Methods: A local mental health organization utilized the Model for Improvement (MFI) Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) quality improvement framework to increase the number of parents attending an evidence-based, six-session educational class and bi-monthly support group. Interventions included 1) outreach and recruitment via social media and community partners, and 2) convening one six-week educational class and four support group sessions. Results: Parental awareness and attitudes toward mental health disorders were measured at Class One (N=11, M = 30.9, SD 5.15) and Class Six (N=5, M = 40.2, SD 1.64) and analyzed utilizing the Mann-Whitney U Test; results demonstrate improved awareness and attitudes (U =50, p = .001). Eleven parents attended a support group session; 91% (10) reported they learned new information about how to support their child; 82% (9) reported they improved their ability to access and advocate for mental health services. Conclusions: Findings suggest that participating in this organization’s educational classes and support groups increases mental health literacy. Barriers that prevent more parents from participating should be explored.

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Date Created
2021-04-27

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Equine Assisted Learning: An Evidence-Based Intervention for Families

Description

Background: It is estimated that 50% of all mental illness arises prior to age 14, an incident attributed in part to disruptions and imbalances within the family system. Equine assisted learning is a complementary and alternative approach to family therapy

Background: It is estimated that 50% of all mental illness arises prior to age 14, an incident attributed in part to disruptions and imbalances within the family system. Equine assisted learning is a complementary and alternative approach to family therapy which is being used increasingly to promote mental health in both adults and children. This study sought to build and deliver an evidence-based, family-centered equine assisted learning program aimed at promoting family function, family satisfaction and child social-emotional competence, and to measure its acceptability and preliminary effect.

Method: Twenty families with children 10 years and older were recruited to participate in a 3-week equine assisted learning program at a therapeutic riding center in Phoenix, Arizona. Sessions included groundwork activities with horses used to promote life skills using experiential learning theory. The study design included a mixed-method quasi-experimental one-group pretest posttest design using the following mental health instruments: Devereaux Student Strengths Assessment, Brief Family Assessment Measure (3 dimensions), and Family Satisfaction Scale to measure child social-emotional competence, family function, and family satisfaction, respectively. Acceptability was determined using a Likert-type questionnaire with open-ended questions to gain a qualitative thematic perspective of the experience.

Results: Preliminary pretest and posttest comparisons were statistically significant for improvements in family satisfaction (p = 0.001, M = -5.84, SD = 5.63), all three domains of family function (General Scale: p = 0.005, M = 6.84, SD = 9.20; Self-Rating Scale: p = 0.050, M = 6.53, SD = 12.89; and Dyadic Relationship Scale: p = 0.028, M = 3.47, SD = 7.18), and child social-emotional competence (p = 0.015, M = -4.05, SD 5.95). Effect sizes were moderate to large (d > 0.5) for all but one instrument (Self-Rating Scale), suggesting a considerable magnitude of change over the three-week period. The intervention was highly accepted among both children and adults. Themes of proximity, self-discovery, and regard for others emerged during evaluation of qualitative findings. Longitudinal comparisons of baseline and 3-month follow-up remain in-progress, a topic available for future discussion.

Discussion: Results help to validate equine assisted learning as a valuable tool in the promotion of child social-emotional intelligence strengthened in part by the promotion of family function and family satisfaction. For mental health professionals, these results serve as a reminder of the alternatives that are available, as well as the importance of partnerships within the community. For therapeutic riding centers, these results help equine professionals validate their programs and gain a foothold within the scientific community. Additionally, they invite future riding centers to follow course in incorporating evidence into their programs and examining new directions for growth within the mental health community.

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2019-05-02