236805 Mujeres En Solidaridad Apoyandose (MESA): Addressing Mental Health for Women in a Migratory Sending Community in Mexico

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 4:30 PM

Sandra Clark, MD , Family Medicine, Piedmont Health Services, Chapel Hill, NC
Heather B. Edelblute, MPH , Carolina Population Center, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Lilli Mann, MPH candidate , Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Kathryn McKenney , School of Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Jason Bischof , School of Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Laura Ziemer, MSW , School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carrboro, NC
Sheryl Zimmerman, PhD , School of Social Work, UNC School of Social Work, Chapel Hill, NC
The migration of working-aged men from Mexico to the United States depopulates small Mexican towns, fractures the family-centered support structures typical of Latin America, and leaves women, children, and the elderly feeling abandoned. The phenomenon and outcomes of “mujeres abandonadas” or “abandoned women” is just beginning to be recognized and studied. One such outcome is increased depression, and research in rural Mexico in the state of Guanajuato identified depression rates as high as 50% among women. To address this high level of depression in a resource poor area, an intervention using lay health advisors, or promotoras, was adapted from a model used for immigrant Latinas in the US. The MESA curriculum involved teaching women how to recognize and respond to symptoms of stress and depression and identify natural supports and become natural supports for others.

We will present how the MESA intervention was developed, implemented, and evaluated in its pilot year in 2010 and in 2011. This will include discussion of curriculum development, recruitment of promotoras and participants, promotora training, depression and social support outcomes, and sustainability. In a small cohort of 19 women, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) exhibited a mean decrease from pre- to post-intervention(p=.07). Interviews conducted as part of the program evaluation in 2010 informed development of the program in 2011. This presentation is important for public health educators and researchers who seek culturally appropriate ways to address mental health issues in migratory and resource poor settings.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Demonstrate the successful implementation of evaluation of a promotora program focused on mental health in women in a migratory sending community in rural Mexico. 2. Discuss how promotoras lend cultural and linguistic credibility to program components.

Keywords: Mental Health, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the MESA promotora program and have experience with Latino community health projects both in the U.S. and in Mexico.
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.