3227.0: Monday, November 13, 2000 - Board 3

Abstract #14704

School-based mental health curriculum for grades K-12: Building protective factors through cultural and social awareness

Ivette Becerra-Ortiz, MPH, Yale School of Nursing, Yale University, 100 Church Street South, New Haven, CT 06520, 203-387-5972, ivette_ortiz@hotmail.com and Rene Alejandro Ortega, MPH, Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, 60 College Street, New Haven, CT 06520, 203-387-5972, ortegara@aol.com.

The formation from childhood to adolescence (ages 0-19) of certain health habits with long-term negative consequences often does not produce morbidity and mortality during childhood/adolescence itself. Rather, the effects and the costs of this chronic negative behavior develop over a lifetime. This project proposes a mental health curriculum for elementary schools, junior high schools and high schools, grades K through 12. This curriculum directly addresses the process of developmental change and the factors that influence development (such as cultural, social, economic and health factors). It recognizes that there is little incentive for youth to invest in education or protect themselves from some of the less healthy habits they may acquire during adolescence. This project encourages a positive mental health approach to the realistic hope of getting ahead economically with the exploration of ones own culture in the mist of larger spheres, such as political, religious, academic and ethnic factors. Children and adolescents represent a significant proportion of the population of the United States. The economic, cultural, and social development of this country requires having increasing proportions of the children and adolescent population who are reasonably well-educated, culturally and socially dynamic, healthy, and economically productive. If the youth of today and tomorrow are not prepared for the dynamic factors of society then there is little hope for the country’s diverse economic, cultural and social integrated involvement in societal issues.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to: 1. Identify the needs of diverse children and adolescent populations with mulitple mental health issues. 2. Address the needs of children and adolescents through an integrated mental health curriculum involving clinical and community interventions. 3. Evaluate the implementation and outcomes of these interventions using clinical and behavioral indicators

Keywords: Adult and Child Mental Health, Cultural Competency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA