245801 In our voices: Engaging people of African descent in defining community evidence for improved mental health outcomes

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

V. Diane Woods, DrPH, MSN , Department of Psychology/African American Health Institute SBC, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA
According to the mental health reports, across the nation racial, ethnic and cultural populations are unserved, underserved or inappropriately served in the mental health system. These disparities have been attributed to an inadequate ability of publicly funded mental health systems to understand and value the need to adapt service delivery processes to the histories, traditions, beliefs, languages and values of diverse groups. This inability results in misdiagnosis, mistrust, and poor utilization of services by ethnically/racially diverse populations. Sparse evidence exist that people of African descent in America have been engaged in any processes to design the most effective mental and behavioral health statewide system needed to generate culturally competent prevention and early intervention approaches to meet their needs. Utilizing a Social Ecological Model, a Systems Level Model, a mixed-methods approach, and an eclectic group of clients, consumers, client family members, stakeholders and interdisciplinary professionals, a statewide project was implemented to engage people of African descent (i.e. African Americans, Continental Africans, Afro-Latinos, Afro-Caribbean, and Africans any other nationality living in the state) in a community-based participatory process to identify community-defined solutions and recommendations for appropriate prevention and early interventions for mental and behavioral health. Approaches, programs, evaluation tools, and other recommendations were identified in a comprehensive statewide population report to redesign a state Department of Mental Health. This paper will discuss the statewide community-based participatory process, community-defined evidence and policy change recommendations.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To list at least five key community-defined components of a statewide mental health system that would improve mental and behavioral health for people of African descent in America To identify at least three culturally appropriate validated outcome evaluation tools for measuring improved mental health outcomes in African Americans

Keywords: African American, Community Participation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Worked 40 years in community health; DrPH in public health, social research, and health education and prevention; conducts community-based participatory research with African Americans for 10 years; Project Director for several community-based participatory projects; published on the subject; trains undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in community health planning, development and research;
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.