News & Announcements
The Hispanic Stress Inventory - Adolescent Version: A Culturally Informed Psychosocial Assessment
Posted: May 17, 2012
Hispanic adolescents experience significant health disparities and are exposed to intense contextual challenges. The purpose of the study titled The Hispanic Stress Inventory - Adolescent Version: A Culturally Informed Psychosocial Assessment, was to develop an instrument that would be valuable to both professionals and researchers who practice and conduct research with foreign-born and U.S.- born Hispanic adolescents. The authors aimed to establish the psychometric properties and factor structure of the Hispanic Stress Inventory – Adolescents, a culturally informed stress assessment specifically tailored to Hispanic adolescents. The study was published in the journal Psychological Assessment.
The study yielded eight factors for stress -- Family Economic Stress, Acculturation-Gap Stress, Culture and Educational Stress, Immigration-Related Stress, Community and Gang-Related Stress, Discrimination Stress, Family and Drug-Related Stress, and Family Immigration Stress.
Read the full text of the study (pdf).
Taking Root: Digital Storytelling to End HIV Stigma among Asian & Pacific Islander Communities
Posted: May 16, 2012
Join the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and Banyan Tree Project for a webinar to commemorate the upcoming 8th annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Thursday, May 17, 2012 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST. This webinar will provide an overview of HIV in Asian & Pacific Islander communities, and the impact of stigma and cultural taboos on A&PIs who are at-risk for or living with HIV. This webinar will also showcase Taking Root: Our Stories, Our Community - a community-driven digital storytelling initiative to end HIV stigma and discrimination among Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is on May 19, 2012.
“Taking Root: Our Stories, Our Community” is an innovative digital storytelling project produced by the Banyan Tree Project in partnership with the Center for Digital Storytelling. Taking Root examines the shame, silence, and discrimination isolating AAs and NHPIs affected by HIV from their communities. The stories are rueful, like the one told by Hatsume, a young Japanese-American woman living with HIV. They are also hopeful, like Eric Zheng’s story, which describes his journey from a young medical student recently diagnosed with HIV to his current role as an HIV physician. Taking Root stories are not testimonials or documentary-style interviews. They are short video narratives created by the storytellers themselves.
AAs and NHPIs are the least likely race or ethnicity to get tested for HIV—over two-thirds of AAs and NHPIs have never been tested for HIV (National Health Interview Survey, 2009). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in three AAs and NHPIs living with HIV doesn’t know it. For AAs and NHPIs, the silence and shame that prevents discussions of sex or HIV also prevents them from getting tested or treated for HIV. Read more on the PRWebb website.
Indian Clinic Working to Prevent Suicide among Young People
Posted: May 15, 2012
The SKY Program at the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic is open to young people who qualify for the clinic's services. SKY stands for Support and Knowledge for our Youth. That's what the counselors and staff are trying to do — supply young people with the resources to know that help is always available. Bullying and suicide prevention are two of the topics SKY coordinator Suzanne Johnson plans to cover. “Our purpose is to get the word out, let (teenagers) know there's resources and where to go,” Johnson said. Mental health has become even more of a focus at the clinic in the past few years. Every program at the clinic has a behavioral health component, said Nikki Kirkendoll, the director of behavioral health at the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic. And just about every person 11 years or older who comes to the clinic receives a behavioral health screening.
In 2007, only 17 percent of clinic patients ages 16 and older were screened for depression, alcohol abuse or domestic violence. Thanks to an increase in staffing and more focus on behavioral health, in 2010, 74 percent of people 16 and older were screened for at least one of those issues. “We're really trying to not let people fall through the cracks as far as if they have something going on,” Kirkendoll said. “While they're here, they have someone who can assess and hear what's going on.” The staff members take a holistic approach to health care, assessing a patient's physical and mental health needs. Preventive programs like the SKY Program are part of that approach, helping patients find ways to relieve stress and build relationships with people who are there to listen. “Our highest priority is preventing suicide, whether it be because of bullying or substance abuse or abuse or trauma,” Kirkendoll said. “Whatever the reason, in the mental health field, that's really number one on the spectrum of care.”
Helping Children & Youth Involved in Juvenile Justice, Child Welfare Recover from Traumatic Events
Posted: May 14, 2012
According to data released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), children and youth participating in SAMHSA community-based programs who are involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems demonstrate improved outcomes after receiving trauma-informed services. This includes reduced behavioral and emotional problems, reduced trauma symptoms, reduced substance use problems, improved functioning in school and in the community, and improved ability to build relationships.
The report, Promoting Recovery and Resilience for Children and Youth Involved in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems, shows that upon entering SAMHSA’s Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services Program for Children and Their Families (CMHI), 34 percent of children and youth involved in the child welfare system and 28 percent involved in the juvenile justice system had experienced four or more types of traumatic events. Among children and youth entering SAMHSA’s Donald J. Cohen National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative services, 67 percent involved in child welfare and 57 percent involved in the juvenile justice system had experienced four or more types of traumatic events. Traumatic events can include witnessing or experiencing: physical or sexual abuse; violence in families and communities; natural disasters; wartime events and terrorism; accidental or violent death of a loved one; and a life-threatening injury or illness. Trauma-informed services take into account knowledge about how the experience of trauma can impact the health and well-being of a person and a community.
Read more on the SAMHSA website. Download the report (pdf). Learn more about SAMHSA's trauma-informed services in the 2011 report -- Helping Children and Youth Who Have Experienced Traumatic Events (pdf). Access more resources on the SAMHSA website -- www.samhsa.gov/children.
National Women’s Health Week is May 13-19: Addressing the Needs of Women & Girls
Posted: May 13, 2012
The theme for the National Women’s Health Week (NWHW) 2012, May 13-19, is “It’s Your Time.” This is a fitting motto because NWHW empowers women to make their health a top priority. The week is a national effort led by an alliance of organizations and individuals to raise awareness about manageable steps that women can take to improve their health as well as help underserved women gain access to important preventative health care services.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recognizes the importance of sex and gender differences when addressing prevention, intervention, and treatment needs. SAMHSA created Addressing the Needs of Women and Girls: Developing Core Competencies for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service Professionals as a tool for the field to address appropriate program models as well as workforce competencies for working with women and girls.
The week also encourages communities to support the important women in their neighborhoods in taking the following steps for longer, healthier, and happier lives: