268749 Lessons learned using CBPR to strengthen maternal mental health and family resilience in a southern, low income, urban community

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Susan L. Davies, PhD , School of Public Health/Department of Health Behavior, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Robin Gaines Lanzi, PhD, MPH , Department of Health Behavior, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Herpreet Thind, MPH , Department of Health Behavior, UAB School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL
Sheila Tyson , Friends of West End, Birmingham Community Advisory Board, Birmingham, AL
Mothers raising children in disordered neighborhoods are disproportionately affected by negative health outcomes, poverty, and other stressors that compromise optimal mental health. Because untreated depression in mothers has adverse long-term effects on her children, efforts to reduce depression could benefit mothers, children and potentially, future generations. However, a dearth of relevant programs coupled with heightened stigma in the African American community inhibits depressed mothers from seeking social support and/or treatment. Academic researchers and community residents formed a coalition to address these issues. Formative research methods were used to identify the most salient factors contributing to mental health functioning of mothers in an urban southern community. Based on the needs and stressors identified, the coalition developed and pilot tested a culturally appropriate mental health promotion intervention.

Key aspects of successful implementation identified by community partners: 1) direct and ongoing involvement of those affected by maternal mental health; 2) capitalizing on each partners expertise (academic partners increased community members' data management and analysis skills, while community partners increased academicians' understanding of the extent to which community issues can affect the validity and reliability of results); 3) novel implementation strategy that is both self-sustaining and community-owned; and 4) equal voice among partners throughout planning, implementation and evaluation.

Key mental health findings identified the need to: 1) shift the focus from mental illness to mental and emotional health; 2) create a public awareness campaign of women's mental health needs; 3) improve local policies to increase community access to existing mental health services.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify key strategies for using CBPR to strengthen maternal mental health and family resilience.

Keywords: Community-Based Public Health, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a researcher in the field of community based health promotion for 20 years, and I serve as the PI on this grant that aims to improve mental health outcomes among low income mothers living in economically disadvantaged communities.
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.