Goals of the Program
- BHF established an Advisory Board of key leaders from CASD, the provider community, West Chester University (project evaluator), and government agencies to ensure community buy-in and program success.
- By the end of the four years, four CASD staff persons and Ms. Linda Hershey, the primary Student Assistant Liaison assigned to the district, will be trained as YMHFA trainers, increasing the capacity of the CASD to provide YMHFA training beyond the four years of this project. In addition, the number of YMHFA trainers serving the Chester and Delaware Counties and thus available to CASD on a part-time basis will be increased from the three CGRC staff currently trained to include the Executive Director of the SAP provider agency, COAD, and the Community Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Chester County Dept. of Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (CCMH).
- A total of 90 key staff including all guidance counselors, school nurses, mental health workers, school police, and clerical staff will be trained in Year 1. These staff will be from all five elementary schools, three middle schools, a 9-10 Center, and the 11-12th grade Coatesville Area Senior High School (CASH). It is estimated that these staff have contact with almost all of the 7,377 students in the district, creating the opportunity to spot behavioral health issues in approximately 7,000 students in the first year alone.
- 20% of all teachers, athletic coaches, cafeteria workers, attendance takers, classroom aides, and school bus drivers, or 150 by the end of Year 4 will participate in one of six trainings to be held over the four year period. While extrapolating that if 20% of these subgroups are trained, 20% of the students, or 1,475 students could benefit from the training their school personnel receive, some workers such as cafeteria workers impact well over 50% of the students in any given year so their impact will be far greater.
- 105 parents and community members will benefit from trainings offered to parents and non-profit staff and volunteers, with special emphasis on those working or volunteering in child and youth serving agencies, including the Coatesville Public Library.
- At least 15 students in the CASD will be trained in each of the four years of the program.
- 50 community members will participate each year in a “Community Conversation,” about mental health, for a total of 120 citizens (assuming overlap each year). These will be organized by the Chester County Department of Mental Health in cooperation with the CASD MHFA Advisory Committee, with costs underwritten by the CASD.
- Opportunities to provide ongoing education of mental health providers in the community and CASD will be provided periodically to enhance their understanding of children’s needs. For example, former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar and current Stoneleigh Fellow Dr. Roy Wade has been invited to present his work around Adverse Childhood Experiences to CASD, CYI, CGRC and foundation leaders in 2016. His work, and the screening tool he is developing, could be integrated effectively over the four year grant period and beyond.
Evaluation: Success will be measured in four ways:
Success in meeting the outcomes listed above, #’s 1-8.
- Lower depression numbers for students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 as reported in the Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) taken in the fall of 2015 and 2017, and in comparison with a baseline of results from PAYS data collected in 2013.
- Higher rates of knowledge, self-confidence, and referrals to Student Assistance Program, mental health and drug and alcohol services by school district personnel, as recorded in annual surveys of those participating in the training.
- Higher usage of CGRC, Human Service, Inc., and Gaudenzia’s services by CASD students from a baseline of the year ending June 30, 2014 through June 30, 2018.
- Continuation of the program with the active support of the CASD, CCMH, COAD, CGRC, and the BHF for the fifth year and beyond.
Additional Community Goals:
- 125 students graduating from West Chester University’s social work, education and health services departments will have been trained in the YMHFA model by the end of Year 4. To accomplish this goal, Brandywine Health Foundation staff will connect West Chester University leadership in the social work, education, and health services departments with CCMH to facilitate the provision of YMHFA curriculum to students in those departments during and beyond the four years of this project.
- 120 first responders, fire and police officers will be trained by Year 4 through annual trainings offered at the new Public Safety Training Facility in South Coatesville. All costs will be underwritten by the Brandywine Health Foundation. While this training will not impact the results of the project evaluation, it will aid in reducing stigma and help to build momentum for broader improvements in mental health services in Chester County, and particularly the CASD.
- West Chester University (WCU) will develop and conduct the four-year evaluation of the project, reporting annually to lead agencies and funders, and coordinating with other researchers across the country that are evaluating implementation of the YMHFA. WCU will also implement the YMHFA training into the health sciences curriculum for all nursing, health education, and public health students so that half of those students are trained each year by the end of Year 4.
For more information on the Youth Mental Health First Aid program, please contact Dana Heiman, Interim CEO at the Brandywine Health Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610.380.9080, x102.