For the past two years, AECOM's Preventive Intervention Research Center has been the lead agency for a Bronx community coalition, led by adolescents, "Albert's Leaders of Tomorrow" (A.L.O.T.). It used CPBR to identify mental health disparities as the most important to address among minority inner-city adolescents, and with a Coalition of 48 community agencies, it developed BxThunder, a mental health intervention. We plan to conduct a randomized controlled trial of BxThunder in 3 community agencies: Mosholu-Montefiore Community Center, Wildcat Academy, and Citizen's Advice Bureau. BxThunder has three parts: PART I. TEEN is an award-winning positive youth development program that improves mental health and trains teens to be peer educators;PART II. graduates will join "ALOTMore" and implement a multimedia workshop in Bronx agencies to teach about mental health and reduce stigma;PART III. teens in BxThunder who need mental health services will receive them on site from clinical psychologists and externs from three community partners, Lehman College CUNY, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology.We will conduct an intent-to-treat randomized controlled trial of BxThunder. We will recruit 240 teens at each site (n=720 total), and randomize them to receive BxThunder or standard care. Teens will be interviewed at baseline and 6- and 12-months later. Outcome measures are positive mental health (Resiliency Scales for Adolescents, RSCA;The Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents, SPPA) and psychological symptoms (Youth Self Report, YSR). Among symptomatic teens, we will assess the number of identified youth who received a referral for services;the number of those who implemented the referral; the number who are in or have completed services;and their mental health outcomes (symptoms) after treatment.
The Specific Aims are to test the hypotheses that, compared to control teens: (1) teens in BxThunder will experience fewer mental health symptoms; (2) teens in BxThunder will experience a greater increase in positive mental health; (3) teens with psychological problems in BxThunder are more likely to have a successful referral for care, and are more likely to complete treatment; (4) teens in BxThunder with psychological problems will experience a larger reduction in psychological symptoms; (5) the BxCAM workshop will increase knowledge and decrease stigma among those who attend, as measured by change in pre-test and post-test measures of workshop attendees. A sustainability project will be designed and implemented by Affinity Health Plan in conjunction with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.