Strategies for the Prevention of Mental Illness
Instructor: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes, PhD, LPC-MHSP
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox and Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery

Objectives
~ Identify strategies for the prevention of mental illness including
~ Community education
~ Early intervention services
~ Community resource development
~ Improving accessibility
~ Improving cultural sensitivity
~ Enhancing protective factors in the environment
~ Drug and domestic violence courts to break the cycle
What “causes” mental illness
~ Stress
~ Poor nutrition
~ Poor health
~ Medication side effects
~ Low self-esteem
~ A lack of personal control
~ Isolation and a lack of supportive relationships
~ What else?
What is Needed to Be Happy
Community Education
~ Educate all individuals in the community about the effectiveness and social and economic benefits of prevention
~ Reduced health care costs
~ Disease
~ Weight
~ Smoking
~ Alcohol
~ Chronic pain
~ Reduced absenteeism
~ Improved productivity
~ Improved energy and mood
~ Improved relationships

Principles of Child Education
~ Children are curious and eager to learn. They have an inherent desire to make sense of themselves, the world and others.
~ Children are active participants in their environment and learn through with all of their senses.
~ Children learn and express themselves through play, which is central to their well-being and development.
~ Each child has an individual pattern and timing of growth and development as well as individual styles of learning.
~ Children need to experience challenge, success, positive direction and positive redirection more than failure or criticism to form a positive self-concept.
~ Children learn best when active and interested. When they engage in a meaningful and relevant way, they can experience the joy of learning and feelings of success.

Principles of Child Education
~ Children learn best when they experience warm and stable personal relationships with their caregivers.
~ Children develop holistically and benefit from integrated experiences and education.
~ The brain learns best when having fun.
~ When learning happens in a positive emotion environment, it is stored in the hippocampus. This is later transferred to the brain cortex, where long term memory happens- thus affecting our ability to remember.
~ Unpleasant events and fast learning, on the other hand are stored in the amygdala, the part of the brain that stores “what not to do”.
~ Children emulate positive models

Principles of Adult Education
~ Adults are autonomous and self-directed
~ Adults are goal and relevancy oriented
~ How does this help me meet my goals and objectives
~ Adults already have a wealth of knowledge
~ How does prior learning impact current learning
~ How does current learning enhance/build off of prior learning
~ Adults are motivated to learn by:
~ Social relationships
~ External expectations
~ Social welfare
~ Personal advancement
~ Escape/stimulation
~ Cognitive interest
Principles of Adult Education
~ Barriers to Adult Learning
~ Responsibilities
~ Lack of time
~ Lack of money
~ Lack of confidence or interest
~ Lack of information about opportunities
~ Scheduling problems
~ Problems with childcare or transportation

Community Resource Development
~ Case Management
~ Volunteers based at the health department, library, doctors offices or churches
~ State Economic/Workforce Development Boards
~ Jobs
~ Transportation
~ Career One-Stop
~ Job placement
~ Job coaches
~ Bonding
~ Universal EAP
~ Tutoring
~ Drop-in childcare/Affordable before and afterschool care

Community Resource Development
~ Wellness fairs and health enhancement opportunities
~ Support groups
~ Meet ups and gatherings
~ Opportunities for indoor exercise/recreation (heat, cold, rain)
~ Financial management/counseling
~ Clothing closets
~ Domestic violence awareness/prevention
~ Sexual violence awareness/prevention

Improving Accessibility
~ Prevention Services
~ Library workshops, reading areas, handouts
~ Doctor/dentist lobbies
~ Health education curriculum
~ Online videos, pdfs
~ Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
~ Television/Radio news, “Health Minutes”
~ Community/Church/Employee wellness fairs
~ Before and after school programs (Nutrition, Wellness)
~ SMS message subscription

Improving Accessibility
~ Early Intervention Services
~ At schools or workplaces
~ Phone/video “call a counselor/doctor”
~ EAPs
~ Intervention groups in the evening or on Saturdays
~ Video-based appointments
~ Home visits
~ Summer/Spring/Fall/Winter break camps
Improving Cultural Sensitivity
~ Children
~ Teens
~ Young Adults
~ Older Adults
~ LGBTQI2K
~ Race/ethnicity
~ Religion
~ Socioeconomic status
~ Occupation
~ Disability
Enhancing Protective Factors
~ Teach/Improve
~ Conflict management skills
~ Stress Management Skills
~ Social skills
~ Effective communication
~ Assertiveness
~ Sense of personal control/self-efficacy
Enhancing Protective Factors
~ Teach/Improve
~ Parenting/Supervision/Self-Management skills
~ Positive modeling
~ Responsiveness
~ Recognition of positive efforts and achievements
~ Constructive discipline
~ Clear and consistent behavioral standards
~ School/Work
~ Enhance teacher/employers/community and self awareness of and response to potential mental health or behavioral risk factors
~ Enhance opportunities for school/work success
~ Improve economic opportunities
~ Ensure effective work/school/life balance
Enhancing Protective Factors
~ Wrap Around Services
~ Healthcare
~ Vision care
~ Dental care
~ Medicine
~ Nutrition
~ Safe, affordable housing
~ Affordable childcare
~ Transportation
~ No license
~ Can’t afford car/gas/insurance
~ Opportunities for community connection and involvement
Problem Solving Courts
~ Types
~ Drug
~ Mental Health
~ Domestic Violence
~ Benefits
~ Increase treatment compliance
~ Require community/systemic buy-in and support
~ Provides an array of services to address the underlying issues creating the problem
~ Reduce the cycle of problems
Summary
~ Prevention is accomplished by providing accessible, culturally appropriate, age-relevant education and screening services
~ Top prevent mental illness people need safety, health, love and belonging and self-esteem needs met.
~ Community opportunities for economic self-sufficiency, safe housing, community involvement and socialization are all beneficial.
~ Communities that care promote greater growth and retention of residents.
~ Prevention on average saves $8 for every dollar spent.
~ Prevention activities benefit people physically, socially, emotionally and occupationally
~ Problem solving courts ensure that people who have begun to develop problems are connected with recovery resources instead of just incarcerated.