San Ysidro Health’s MHAT Project enables continuation and expansion of a current SAMHSA- supported MHAT project utilizing evidence-based training curriculums designed to improve recognition of mental health and substance use disorders in local youth, as well as the trainee’s capacity to respond in a helpful manner. Targeted training recipients include school personnel, parents/foster parents, staff at youth-serving organizations and other relevant community members.
Population to be served: Founded in 1969, San Ysidro Health (SYHealth) is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides culturally proficient medical, dental, and behavioral health services to low income and predominantly Latino population. One of the largest and oldest community health centers in San Diego County, SYHealth serves the county’s South and Southeast Regions, which encompass several low income communities located within fifteen miles of the U.S./Mexico international border and the San Ysidro Point of Entry, the busiest land border crossing in the world. The proposed MHAT Project capitalizes on SYHealth’s long term partnerships with youth-serving entities throughout the health center’s service areas. Youth to benefit from this project are affected by numerous factors correlated to the need for behavioral health support, including poverty, and histories of trauma.
Strategies and Interventions: Two evidenced-based curriculums, Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA), and Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) will be utilized to train the target population of trainees described above. Training sessions will be conducted by SYHealth staff, who are certified as YMHFA and QPR trainers. Training sessions will be conducted at school campuses, and various community locations, with weekend and evening sessions offered for the convenience of parents and school/other agency personnel attending the sessions. Trainings will be offered in Spanish as needed. In addition to broadening awareness about behavioral health issues, SYHealth’s MHAT Project aims to strengthen each trainee’s capacity for referring those they assist to needed support services, utilizing SYHealth internal resources as well as partnering community agencies for needs beyond SYHealth’s scope. Referrals made by trainees will be tracked via post-training, bi-annual, follow up surveys, utilizing incentives to encourage participation.
Project Goals and Objectives: The goal of the SYHealth MHAT Project is to increase the knowledge and capacity of trainees to identify and assist youth experiencing behavioral health difficulties which could otherwise result in a more serious crisis situation, arrest, or harm to self or others. To achieve this goal, project staff will provide MHAT training to at least 225 participants during project Year 1 and a total of 1,325 participants over the project term.