Increasing access for adolescents: Integrating HIV/STI prevention programs into mental health care settings
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Issues: Integrating HIV/STI prevention programs into mental health care settings is necessary to improve access to evidence-based sexual health education for adolescents with mental illness. The integration of sexual health education into mental health care facilities has been an effective tool in improving access for adults with mental illness, while research in adolescent populations has been limited. Description: The primary goal of this project was to develop an HIV/STI prevention program for Black adolescents with mental illnesses. An essential component to the success of this program is the integration of HIV/STI prevention programs into mental health care facilities that serve this population. A number of barriers surfaced while attempting to engage mental health agencies in partnering on this project. Lessons Learned: Barriers included anxiety surrounding the possibility of the HIV/STI prevention program to deviate attention from current treatment, and the potential for research activities to trigger adverse mental and emotional responses from the adolescent clients. The barriers encountered were ameliorated through a number of avenues including open discussions between the research team and agency staff to discuss concerns, and forging partnerships to identify mutually agreeable solutions. Further, we hosted onsite sessions with the agency staff to thoroughly detail the research procedures and answer questions. Recommendations: Each agency recognized the importance of integrating evidence-based HIV/STI education into mental health care settings for their adolescent clients. With this common goal as a foundation, integration of sexual and mental health can be achieved by respecting and addressing the concerns of each individual agency.
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Discuss the necessity for research addressing the integration of HIV/STI education into mental health care settings for adolescents with mental illness.
Explain common concerns and barriers to establishing HIV/STI prevention programs in mental health care facilities that serve adolescents with mental illness.
Identify strategies to overcome barriers and increase access to HIV/STI prevention programs for adolescents with mental illness.
Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Mental Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a research assistant on a federally funded grants focusing on Mental Health and HIV risk. I specifically focus on recruitment, and community partner buy in.
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.