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Building a Culture of Care: Mental Health Awareness for Elementary School Teachers

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This study examines the intersectionality of mental health and education, with an emphasis on resources and awareness for elementary school teachers. It starts with a review of mental health awareness in society, particularly in regard to social stigma and its

This study examines the intersectionality of mental health and education, with an emphasis on resources and awareness for elementary school teachers. It starts with a review of mental health awareness in society, particularly in regard to social stigma and its associated effects. I then discuss the existing resources, teaching methods, and third party interventions which address mental health awareness and care within elementary schools. Within this context, the research supports the strong influence of teachers’ behaviors and perceivable attitudes on students. However, despite the identification of teachers playing a significant role in the availability of mental health resources for students, existing studies rarely addresses the necessity of mental health awareness and care to optimize teacher capacity and counteract occupational stress. The study examines the current approach and challenges of an elementary school that has expressed interest in creating a culture of care, characterized by mental health awareness and resources that support teachers within the school environment. After identifying the key mental health concerns of the school’s stakeholders, I propose a custom program of self-care and mental health awareness to support the current work culture. The study concludes with examination of implementation strategies for the school, as well as implications for future mental health awareness in similar settings.

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Date Created
2019-05

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An Analysis of the Mental Health Effects of Violent Trials on Jury Members: What can Society Offer?

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Past research has shown that serving on a jury can put the jurors under distress. Most research has shown that the nature of the trial (violent vs. non-violent) is a major factor in predicting distress. Though there is a lot

Past research has shown that serving on a jury can put the jurors under distress. Most research has shown that the nature of the trial (violent vs. non-violent) is a major factor in predicting distress. Though there is a lot of research identifying the distress, there is little research on how to resolve or prevent the distress from occurring in the first place. The purpose of this study is to examine what kinds of treatments prior jurors would have wanted, and to determine how this is related to the specific profiles of symptoms they experienced. To address these research questions, we screened for participants that have served on a violent trial (homicide, rape, child abuse, sexual offenses towards children, and torture) in the last 10 years. They were given the SCL-90 Checklist to measure their symptoms, if any, and then asked to rate a set of possible resources to cope with their stress as to how much they would have wanted the specific resource. Results of the study showed that participants experiencing more distress would have liked more efforts to alleviate that stress and resources afterward. Although these were not linked to any particular symptom profile, seven resources showed a significant relationship between the severity of symptoms and endorsement of those resources. The most desired resources were a thorough understanding of the laws pertaining to the crime; a thorough understanding of the punishments pertaining to the crime; and disclosure of the severity of the evidence to be presented in the trial before it begins. Limitations of this study and future directions are discussed.

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Date Created
2020-12

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Mental Health Implications of Private and Public Immigrant Detention Centers in Arizona

Description

The United States has been long considered a country of immigrants. Throughout U.S. history the implementation of immigration policies has oscillated from lenient to highly restrictive. Currently, the Department of Homeland Security manages the largest detention system in the world.

The United States has been long considered a country of immigrants. Throughout U.S. history the implementation of immigration policies has oscillated from lenient to highly restrictive. Currently, the Department of Homeland Security manages the largest detention system in the world. In December 2019, the National Detention Standards that govern the level of care in detention were revised. These revisions grant more oversight to private detention companies, including mental health treatment options and the use of solitary confinement. This is concerning given the amount of suicides that have occurred in detention. Despite an increasing trend in funding for detention centers, mental health resources are scarce and increasingly remiss in detention centers. Individuals held in civil detention are subject to deteriorating mental health due to the locations of detention centers, solitary confinement and high costs associated with outbound calls and visitations.

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Created

Date Created
2020-05

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StreetWise: A skill service for students by students

Description

Stress for college students is nothing new and as more kids go to college the number of cases are on the rise. This issue is apparent at colleges across the nation including Arizona State University. StreetWise aims to help students

Stress for college students is nothing new and as more kids go to college the number of cases are on the rise. This issue is apparent at colleges across the nation including Arizona State University. StreetWise aims to help students prevent or appropriately deal with stress through interactive lessons teaching students life skills, social skills, and emotional intelligence.<br/>In order to prove the value of our service, StreetWise conducted a survey that asked students about their habits, thoughts on stress, and their future. Students from Arizona State University were surveyed with questions on respondent background, employment, number one stressor, preferred learning method, and topics that students were interested in learning. We found that students’ number one stressor was school but was interested in learning skills that would prepare them for their future after graduation. We used the results to make final decisions so that StreetWise could offer lessons that students would get the most value out of. This led to us conducting a second survey which included mock ups of the website, examples of interactive lesson plans, and an overview of the app. Students from the first survey were surveyed in addition to new respondents. This survey was intended for us to ensure that our service would maintain its value to students with the aesthetic and interface that we envisioned.

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Created

Date Created
2021-05

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Prototyping a Mobile Application for Promoting Lasting Mental Health Among College Students

Description

For my thesis/creative project, I created a prototype for a mental health app. Each section of the prototype has a purpose of instilling mindfulness and healthy habits that can promote and lead to sustainable mental health. Throughout the paper I

For my thesis/creative project, I created a prototype for a mental health app. Each section of the prototype has a purpose of instilling mindfulness and healthy habits that can promote and lead to sustainable mental health. Throughout the paper I explain my reasoning for starting this project, the science of mindfulness and how it can bring about positive mental and physical changes, and the design theory behind the prototype.

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Date Created
2021-05

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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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Date Created
2019-05-02