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Best Practices for Undergraduate Mental Health Support for Study Abroad

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This paper describes a mixed methods investigation of undergraduate mental health support practices at Arizona State University (ASU), as well as an outside look at peer and other leading institutions. Methods employed in this study include: ASU undergraduate student survey

This paper describes a mixed methods investigation of undergraduate mental health support practices at Arizona State University (ASU), as well as an outside look at peer and other leading institutions. Methods employed in this study include: ASU undergraduate student survey to assess perception of resources provided by ASU and the likelihood to disclose physical and mental health conditions, key informant interviews to understand ASU mental health support from the perspective of those who implement support measures, participant observation of study abroad events that provide resources to prospective and pre-departure students, and a document review of the study abroad website from peer and other institutions. The target population of this study is undergraduate students who participate or plan to participate in study abroad programs across the United States. The sample population for the undergraduate student survey is undergraduate students at ASU, as well as sixteen institutions for the document review. Significant findings from the research include student concerns about financial and academic barriers to study abroad, as well as a greater likelihood to disclose physical health conditions rather than mental health conditions due to fear of stigma or of being a burden to program coordinators. Additionally, it was found that there is a separation between available resources and student awareness and use of these resources. ASU can work to remedy this disconnect by explicitly presenting easily accessible resource information on the website and in pre-departure materials, as well as addressing mental health awareness abroad in an inclusive manner towards all students in addition to those with pre-existing mental health conditions. Overall, more work should be done to fulfill the vision of comprehensive mental health support at ASU.

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2018-05

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A Cross-cultural Analysis of the Emotional Effects of Climate Change

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Climate change presents a significant threat to human health, both mental and physical; as a result, it has become one of the most commonly discussed phenomena of the 21st century. As many people are aware, a wide range of social

Climate change presents a significant threat to human health, both mental and physical; as a result, it has become one of the most commonly discussed phenomena of the 21st century. As many people are aware, a wide range of social and physical factors affects mental health. However, many people fail to realize that these increases global temperatures also have a significant impact on mental health as a result of increased vulnerability that is often manifested through one's emotions. By analyzing perceptions of people across the globe, in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Fiji, we were able to pinpoint these emotions and trace them individual's feelings of worry, distress, and hope that resulted from their perceived impacts on climate change. Overall, we found that people tend to have overall more negative emotional reaction when it comes to the perceived effects of climate change. Of the respondents, more men than women expressed concern regarding the various negative implications. Finally, those in the United Kingdom exhibited a stronger emotional response, followed by those in New Zealand and Fiji, respectively.

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2017-05

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Comparative Policy Analysis of Maternal Mental Health in Bangladesh and Nepal

Description

Maternal health and mental health have recently become globally recognized as critical areas of focus. The continued research into the relationship between maternal health and mental health—in particular, how they are affected by public policy and infrastructure—is vital to the

Maternal health and mental health have recently become globally recognized as critical areas of focus. The continued research into the relationship between maternal health and mental health—in particular, how they are affected by public policy and infrastructure—is vital to the improvement of general health outcomes. An investigation of literature, current health landscape and indicators, gray literature, and the current policy landscape in an exemplar country (Australia), Bangladesh and Nepal was done. Bangladesh and Nepal were chosen due to the recent amounts of change seen in each country’s maternal health status. Both Bangladesh and Nepal are severely lacking in official mental health services, facilities, and personnel. The analysis revealed flaws and disparities in each country’s current policy landscape. Despite these disparities it should be recognized that policies and programs are being implemented – just in a very piecemeal manner, and not entirely by each country’s respective government. Integration of maternal health services and mental health services is recommended to improve functionality of already existing services. The addition of minimal but necessary components to health systems is recommended.

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2015-05

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Health Disparities Among LGB Women From Experiences With Their Healthcare Providers

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This study investigates how the patient-provider relationship between lesbian, gay, and bisexual women and their healthcare providers influences their access to, utilization of, and experiences within healthcare environments. Nineteen participants, ages 18 to 34, were recruited using convenience and snowball

This study investigates how the patient-provider relationship between lesbian, gay, and bisexual women and their healthcare providers influences their access to, utilization of, and experiences within healthcare environments. Nineteen participants, ages 18 to 34, were recruited using convenience and snowball sampling. Interviews were conducted inquiring about their health history and their experiences within the healthcare system in the context of their sexual orientation. The data collected from these interviews was used to create an analysis of the healthcare experiences of those who identify as queer. Although the original intention of the project was to chronicle the experiences of LGB women specifically, there were four non-binary gender respondents who contributed interviews. In an effort to not privilege any orientation over another, the respondents were collectively referred to as queer, given the inclusive and an encompassing nature of the term. The general conclusion of this study is that respondents most often experienced heterosexism rather than outright homophobia when accessing healthcare. If heterosexism was present within the healthcare setting, it made respondents feel uncomfortable with their providers and less likely to inform them of their sexuality even if it was medically relevant to their health outcomes. Gender, race, and,socioeconomic differences also had an effect on the patient-provider relationship. Non-binary respondents acknowledged the need for inclusion of more gender options outside of male or female on the reporting forms often seen in medical offices. By doing so, medical professionals are acknowledging their awareness and knowledge of people outside of the binary gender system, thus improving the experience of these patients. While race and socioeconomic status were less relevant to the context of this study, it was found that these factors have an affect on the patient-provider relationship. There are many suggestions for providers to improve the experiences of queer patients within the healthcare setting. This includes nonverbal indications of acknowledgement and acceptance, such as signs in the office that indicate it to be a queer friendly space. This will help in eliminating the fear and miscommunication that can often happen when a queer patient sees a practitioner for the first time. In addition, better education on medically relevant topics to queer patients, is necessary in order to eliminate disparities in health outcomes. This is particularly evident in trans health, where specialized education is necessary in order to decrease poor health outcomes in trans patients. Future directions of this study necessitate a closer look on how race and socioeconomic status have an effect on a queer patient's relationship with their provider.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Cross-Cultural Examination of Mental Health Services and Outcomes: A Comparative Study on the United States, Japan, Ethiopia and South Africa

Description

This paper explains what factors influence mental health issues and what type of care is provided in various countries. The countries in this study will include the United States, Japan, Ethiopia and South Africa, all of which have varying degrees

This paper explains what factors influence mental health issues and what type of care is provided in various countries. The countries in this study will include the United States, Japan, Ethiopia and South Africa, all of which have varying degrees of ethnic diversity, economic status and understanding of mental health issues. It discusses the specific healthcare systems in each country, as well as the attitudes and problems associated with depression and schizophrenia, two prevalent mental health disorders. This paper examines the different ways that a diagnosis is reached for schizophrenia and major depression in these different countries, as well as what methods are used for treating individuals with these disorders. It will also examine the prominent notion that schizophrenia has better outcomes in developing countries than in places that have wider medical care available. It then discusses what treatments are available in each country, as well as social constructs that exist regarding those treatments in order to understand the ways that treatments can be expanded to improve outcomes. This paper will then examine the different outcomes of these mental health disorders that are common in each country, and conclude with ideas on how to make global mental health a reality.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Equine Assisted Learning: An Evidence-Based Intervention for Families

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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