141st APHA Annual Meeting

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Transform: A life empowerment program in schools for violence, abuse, & trauma-exposed youth

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 10:48 AM - 11:06 AM

Sheri Strahl, MPH , The Village Family Services, North Hollywood, CA
Pauline Tan, MPH, CHES , The Village Family Services, North Hollywood, CA
This research project investigates outcomes from Year One of Transform—a life empowerment pilot program tailored for youth exposed to violence and abuse. Transform was implemented through the partnership of two community based organizations working at a Los Angeles inner-city middle school. Violence, trauma, and stress induced behavior in youth may have serious negative impacts on their education and potentially their future. While trauma and stress affects many communities, they are more likely to be amplified in economically disadvantaged communities where opportunities are limited. Consequently, academic achievement can be nearly impossible when students are primarily focused on their own safety and survival. Unable to constructively regulate themselves, they have little control over what is happening in their minds and bodies, which may lead to disruptive behavior. The focus of Transform is on the whole person and helping students gain control of their bodies, minds and emotions while helping them increase their self-awareness, confidence and ability to set and realize goals. Transform encourages youth to learn in their own way with a variety of learning modalities which are both practical and therapeautic inspired by yoga, meditation, rhythmn and other healing modalities. Results from Year One support that Transform is empowering students with critical lifeskills, improved sleep habits, and better impulse control. This session will share results, best practices, and how this curriculum can be applied with violence, abuse, and trauma exposed populations through a trauma informed lens.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
List two reasons why youth living in communities with high violence rates are less likely to excel academically and socially. Identify two specific teaching modalities form the Transform curriculum. Identify one improvement seen amongst Transform participants at the conclusion of Year One.

Keywords: Youth, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Sheri Strahl is the Vice President of Research and Operations at The Village Family Services- Southern California’s leading bilingual family wellness agency providing permanency and safety for neglected and abused children and youth. Ms. Strahl has over a decade of experience working with trauma and child welfare agencies. In addition to her work at The Village Family Services, Ms. Strahl is a part-time lecturer for the Public Health program at California State University, Northridge.
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.

Back to: 5138.0: Schools and Mental Health