School-Based Mental Health Prevention Activities for Homeless and At-Risk Youth
Source: Child and Youth Care Forum, Volume 30, Number 1, February 2001 , pp. 3-18(16)
Abstract:Children who are homeless or who live in poverty face increased exposure to risk factors. Participating in mental health prevention activities may serve as a buffer against stress for these children. Schools are an optimal setting for providing prevention services. In this paper, we describe the implementation of and results from the Empowerment Zone (EZ) project, which involved providing mental health and health prevention services to children during small group and classroom activities. The EZ Project was incorporated into character education activities for a summer school program designed to improve reading and math skills for at risk elementary school age youth. The character education program is a key component in the Baltimore City schools where character traits, such as honesty, are taught through small group and classroom activities. Teachers were trained to implement mental health prevention activities; they also reported on the quality and utility of the program, after watching activities implemented by clinicians in their classrooms. Parents also had opportunities to participate in classes, which focused on teaching discipline techniques and discussing ways to improve parent-child relationships and foster children's socioemotional development. Results were positive, supporting project activities. Future empirical research evaluating the effectiveness of mental health prevention programs delivered in schools is needed.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Room 429, Dyer Hall, Mail Location 376, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0376; email@example.com 2: Illinois School of Professional Psychology–Chicago Campus 3: University of Maryland
Publication date: February 1, 2001