Online Program

Establishing trauma-informed programs in public schools using a public health model

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 4:30 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

Christine A. Castles, MPH, RN, CHES, Post Traumatic Stress Center, New Haven, CT
This presentation will provide an overview of the session including background information and the public health approach used in assessing and addressing the unmet, identified mental health needs of school-aged children in New Haven, CT. In 2009, a mental health needs assessment using the Youth Risk Behavioral Survey (YRBS) from the CDC was administered to all ninth graders in a New Haven, CT high school. Data demonstrated that there was burgeoning mental health crisis among these adolescents. Risky behaviors known to be associated with further risk of injury or debility were endemic to this population including carrying weapons, community and interpersonal violence, depression, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, and risky sexual behaviors. School administration reported a host of problem behaviors, interfering with school achievement. In response to the dismal quality of life these students were experiencing, which portended a bleak future, a variety of trauma-informed programs were designed, implemented and evaluated. The expansion of trauma-informed and student-centered services have been driven by request, and currently are in place in nine New Haven public schools, grades K-12. Challenges and strategic opportunities will be highlighted, with the intention that local initiatives might influence and promote mental health in children across the globe.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Explain how the YRBS can be useful from a local to a national level Discuss the urgency for meeting the mental health needs of children in an inner-city Describe the ecological and educational approach to addressing the gaps in mental health services

Keyword(s): Mental Health, School-Based Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved with numerous clinical and research projects throughout my career. Currently I am a program specialist at the Post Traumatic Stress Center, New Haven, CT. I have been a long-standing member of APHA, am an RN with an MPH, and CHES certified.
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.