The Mental Health for Immigrants Programs

Program Design and Participatory Research in the Real World

Published in: Handbook of School Mental Health: Advancing Practice and Research / Edited by Mark D. Weist, Steven W. Evans and Nancy A. Lever (New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2003), Chapter 13, p. 179-190

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2003

by Bradley D. Stein, Sheryl H. Kataoka, Lisa H. Jaycox, Erika M. Steiger, Marleen Wong, Arlene Fink, Pia Escudero, Catalina Zaragoza

One problem of substantial importance to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is meeting the mental health needs of new immigrant children. In addition to having experienced stressful conditions in their country of origin and often having experienced a traumatic immigration process, many of these children live in the United States under poor, overcrowded conditions that increase the risk of violence. To help immigrant parents overcome the many barriers to getting mental health care for their children, the LAUSD sought to develop and evaluate an intervention known as the Mental Health for Immigrants Program that could be disseminated across the district if found effective. In this chapter, the authors describe how the LAUSD Mental Health Services Unit worked in a participatory research partnership with RAND, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California, to develop the clinical intervention and to evaluate the program's effectiveness.

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