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

Description

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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Agent

Created

Date Created
2021-04-27

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What the Health is This?

Description

“What the Health is This” is a creative project that aims to provide health education, improve health literacy, encourage young adults to do their own reputable health research, and empower them to make informed health decisions through that research. Centered

“What the Health is This” is a creative project that aims to provide health education, improve health literacy, encourage young adults to do their own reputable health research, and empower them to make informed health decisions through that research. Centered on topics of interest for young adults, the podcast covers four main concepts: wellness, self-care, health care, and public health. Each episode is approximately 20 minutes.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2022-05

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What the Health is This?

Description

“What the Health is This” is a creative project that aims to provide health education, improve health literacy, encourage young adults to do their own reputable health research, and empower them to make informed health decisions through that research. Centered

“What the Health is This” is a creative project that aims to provide health education, improve health literacy, encourage young adults to do their own reputable health research, and empower them to make informed health decisions through that research. Centered on topics of interest for young adults, the podcast covers four main concepts: wellness, self-care, health care, and public health. Each episode is approximately 20 minutes.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2022-05

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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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05-02