Online Program

Mental health literacy and psychiatric screening during routine visits in a student run clinic for uninsured residents in North Carolina

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tiffany Covas, MPH, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem,, NC
Natalie Cassell, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem,, NC
Wesley Knepper, MA, Family Preservation Services of North Carolina, Inc., Carrboro, NC
Regina Autry, North Carolina State University, Colfax, NC
To address mental health disparities, we implemented an educational initiative encompassing mental health literacy, basic mental health screening, and referrals conducted by student volunteers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. After receiving an audio-visual presentation on an ipad, patients complete screening via the Redcap program for depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse. We utilized the PHQ-9 for depression, the PSWQ for anxiety, and the AUDIT alcohol use questionnaire. The medical student volunteers learned the importance of primary care practitioners screening for mental health conditions in accordance with one of our objectives of the mental health education and screening initiative. In addition, we are collaborating with Winston-Salem State University social work students and incorporated them into the clinic which provided an example to students of the importance of working together in multidisciplinary teams. Of the 433 participants we had 382 surveys that were used to determine the percentage of patients suffering from these mental health issues. Approximately 19.4% of patients were primarily Spanish speaking. Nearly half of our patients screened positive for anxiety and approximately half screened positive for at least mild depression. Alcohol use was cited less frequently with approximately 4% in the highest risk group and 7% screening in an undetermined category which should be monitored and provided brief counseling. To decrease the gap in mental health disparities it is imperative that interventions encompassing education, screening, and mental health service referrals designed for socioeconomically disadvantaged populations are implemented.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the implementation of a mental health literacy and screening program at a free student run clinic for uninsured residents in North Carolina. Demonstrate the need for more effective education and screening of mental health in primary care by utilizing percentage of individuals who screened positive for either depression, anxiety or alcohol.

Keyword(s): Primary Care, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been coordinating and participating in public health since 2003. Despite returning to school to study medicine I remain interested in primary and secondary prevention initiatives, especially with regard to HIV, STIs, and mental health. I am committed to providing preventative services and imporoving the health of my community. I have utilized my educational background to develop initiatives that not only benefit the underserved but help future practitioners learn the importance of preventative medicine.
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.