Impacts of Nature in Proactive and Responsive Behavioral Health Treatment of Urban Latino Youth

Evaluating nature-based, behavioral health treatments on the mental health outcomes of urban, economically disadvantaged Latino youth in Milwaukee

Full Project Name:Impacts of Nature in Proactive and Responsive Behavioral Health Treatment of Urban Latino YouthPrimary Community Organization:Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers (SSCHC)Primary Academic Partner:Kirsten Beyer, PhD, MPH, MS, Institute for Health and EquityAward Amount:$400,000
Award Date
October2020
Project Duration:36 months

Project Description Narrative:


Adolescent mental health is of particular concern in Wisconsin as youth suicide rates and mental health hospitalizations consistently surpass national rates, and have shown notable increases year after year. Although behavioral health interventions, access, and encounters for youth have increased across the state, treatment needs surpass available services. Greater attention to prevention and an exploration of alternatives to clinical treatment interventions is critical to impact increasing rates of mental illness, suicide, and hospitalizations. Alternative treatment options are limited, especially for at-risk urban, minority youth, due to distance and cost barriers, and are almost entirely inaccessible for non-English speaking families.

The proposed study will evaluate how enhancing existing after-school/summer camp programs and outpatient treatment with nature-based, behavioral health treatment techniques improves mental health outcomes among urban and economically disadvantaged Latino youth.

Project Updates:


  • Established inter-agency and inter-departmental collaborations to launch program development processes, including gathering of feedback from behavioral health providers and evaluation team partners
     
  • Developed new inter-departmental programs, establishing program curricula for a Child & Adolescent Day Treatment program and Summer Camp program aimed at engaging and benefitting the health and wellbeing of participants; initial programs will be used to shape the development of an after-school program
     
  • Established program evaluation and assessment tools and protocols in collaboration with MCW and UW partners
     
  • Began Summer Camp and Child & Adolescent Day Treatment programs
     
  • Launched engagement and development partnership with school leadership to refine an after-school program curriculum

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