206945 Mentoring and Screening New Orleans Youth at High Risk for Gun Violence Violence

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Peter Scharf, Professor , Tsphtm, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

New Orleans murders totaled 179 murders down from the 2007 total of 210, a rate almost without precedence in the United States. Some of these murders are committed by young people (a recent incident saw two 15 year olds and a 14 year old murder a waitress in the French Quarter.)

Many of the New Orleans murders in the past year, as this incident, were attacks rooted in drug trafficking revenge cycles but involve youth wth complex disorders.Among youth arrested for violent crime, undiagnosed mental health, learning disabilities, sexual trauma and brain injuries are often undiagnosed until a violent act occcurs. There has been little effort to develop any systematic programs to reduce the risks of murder and violence among the groups highest at risk for violent crime as perpetrators

A consortium of the leading organizations in the City propose to work together to develop a city-wide initiative to:

1. Identify young people who have the greatest probability of being involved in gun violence;

2. Train mentors in research based models of effective mentoring and the use of mental health and learning disability support resources;

3. Match mentors to youth using developmental assessment strategies;

4. Implement program within charter schools, RSD schools and religious organizations, link to core curriculum requirements;

5. Develop trainer of trainers to support classroom and mentoring referal processes;

6. Expand the program to parents and adults with high gun crime risks; and

7. Assess, improve and institutionalize the program.

Learning Objectives:
Identify innovative mental health(public health) strategies designed to reduce youth gun violence Analyze mental health interventions designed to reduce gun violence risks Evaluate mental health trategy designed to reduce gun violence

Keywords: Violence Prevention, Child/Adolescent Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Written widely about youth violence
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.