Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dr. Rivera working on youth behavioral health needs assessment led by UAA Center for Human Development

Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice Center faculty, is part of a group of UAA researchers led by the Center for Human Development working on a youth behavioral health needs assessment for Anchorage. This project is under the auspices of the Anchorage Collaborative Coalitions.

This spring, the UAA collaborative research team presented the results of the examination of secondary data on behavioral health needs of youth and young adults in Anchorage at a community forum.The team includes researchers from the Center for Human Development, the Justice Center, the Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services, and the Department of Health Sciences

In this next phase, the research team will be working with coalition members to recruit up to 80 youth ages 12-24 years to participate in focus groups. The focus groups will explore youth perspectives on bullying, loneliness, sadness, and hopelessness. The primary data collected from the focus groups will fill identified data gaps.

The Anchorage Collaborative Coalitions will use focus group data to inform the design of a community-based intervention for interrupting youth suicide, determining mental illness risk factors, and fostering well-being, as well as resiliency.