Online Program

Efficacy of mental health services at school based health centers as a long-term violence prevention strategy

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Marsha Broussard, DrPH, School Health Connection, Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA
Public officials, community organizations, and leaders are extremely concerned about the proliferation of youth violence, particularly among African American males. Efforts to identify upstream violence prevention strategies that address this population are critical to planning community strategies that can have an impact. The School Health Connection (SHC) program conducted two cross-sectional analysis, one in 2009 and one in 2012, comparing students with access to school-based health center services (SBHCs) to those without access. Results for both studies supported statistically significant associations around higher utilization of mental health services within the past 12 months (29.1% vs. 16.8 %, p=0.006); and in risk reduction effects such as decreased substance use (58.6 % vs. 64 %, p = 0.0032). Examining data across specific urban schools, there were significant associations observed in reduction of high risk behaviors such as decreased fighting in the past 12 months; reduction in suicidal ideation and planning; carrying a weapon to school, and other effects that are associated with violent behaviors. SBHCs are an evidenced-based intervention with significant validation in the literature. This presentation would address the unique service approach of SBHCs, which routinely include mental health screening, immediate treatment, and an integrated approach to providing health and mental health services. Lack of access barriers to this model of care because of proximity to the target population, and confidentiality of mental health services optimizes its use among African American males, which is a difficult population to serve.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the primary prevention benefits of mental health services provided at school based health centers in long-term prevention of urban violence; given increased access and utilization among adolescent African American males.

Keyword(s): Adult and Child Mental Health, Access to Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have served as principal investigator of school health and adolescent health services at the Louisiana Public Health Institute in New Orleans since 2006. Our program, School Health Connection (SHC), has supported school-based health centers (SBHCs) with funding and technical support, and evaluation services. SHC is a leader among New Orleans community-based programs that address adolescent mental health. I am published on the topic of which is will be presenting.
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.