HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH CENTER

 

Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI)

The Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) project is a three-year collaboration between San Diego mental health services programs and the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).  The PEI project was implemented following the Mental Health Services Prevention and Early Intervention Act, which increased funding for mental health services in the state of California.  HSRC is responsible for project coordination and program evaluation for adult PEI programs.  In addition, HSRC designed a web-based database and online survey data entry forms to accommodate data collection and reporting for all PEI programs in San Diego County.

In addition to many program-specific goals, the PEI programs taking part in this project share some common goals, including:

  • Increased public awareness and understanding of mental illness
  • Improved prevention efforts for people at risk of mental illness
  • Reduction of stigma towards people with mental illness  

Targeted projects were designed and implemented to meet each program’s goals. The media campaign aims to meet the common PEI goals, as well as to increase suicide prevention through media and education targeting underserved and un-served populations in San Diego County.  Other projects include culturally appropriate education-media for the Hispanic/Latino community, linkages and referrals for military veterans and their families, and mental health screenings for individuals participating in alcohol and drug services programs.  Additionally, several programs have implemented interventions intended to increase access to health care, prevent or reduce mental health symptoms, and reduce ethnic disparities in care for transitional age youth (TAY), adults, older adults, and those living in rural communities.

ADS Program Evaluation

One PEI program has integrated Alcohol and Drug Services (ADS) with existing mental health services to identify and screen individuals with co-occurring substance/alcohol abuse and mental health issues, prior to their development of severe mental health issues.  In addition, 13 ADS sites in San Diego County have added mental health counselors to support individuals in their efforts to recover from substance abuse issues.  Interventions applied are best practices and are specific to client needs, age appropriate, integrated, accessible, culturally competent, and strength-based.  Mental health counselors within each site provide mental health screenings, linkages to additional services, consultations to ADS staff, and information and education for parents.  Education and brief counseling to reduce risk factors and develop life skills are available to clients, along with support for prevention, treatment, and recovery.  HSRC is evaluating program-specific outcomes including mental health screenings and clients’ satisfaction with services, to determine the impact of additional services at ADS sites.  

Community Survey

The County of San Diego has launched a media campaign to increase understanding of mental illness in hopes of reducing stigma and to increase awareness/access to mental health services.  Can a media campaign of this nature really influence deeply held beliefs such as a stigma?  To find out, we are conducting a two-year survey of San Diego County adults that assesses attitudes, beliefs, awareness of and self-reported usage of mental health resources, and stigma associated with mental illness.  General mental health screening measures are included in the survey to assess the incidence/prevalence of mental illness symptoms within the community.

The Community Survey is administered two ways: by anonymous web-based computer survey and through an anonymous phone survey which uses a random selection process.

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