CBU professors to lead evaluation of mental-health project
Riverside, Calif. (April 11, 2017) – Two professors from the public health sciences department at California Baptist University will serve as principal evaluators of $1.2 million mental-health project.
The California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP), a project of the California Department of Public Health Office of Health Equity, has announced the funding of a 5-year program aimed to reduce mental health disparities in African-Americans across Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
The Riverside-based organization, Healthy Heritage Movement, will implement the program, while CBU faculty, Dr. Marshare Penny, associate professor of public health, and Dr. Jessica Miller, adjunct professor of public health sciences, will lead the evaluation of the project.
The CRDP program will take place in select churches in both Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It includes an intervention called Broken Crayons Still Color, which is an 8-week program that aims to increase knowledge of core mental health issues, such as depression and the work to reduce the perceived stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment. Additionally, the program will establish mental health ministries that will provide education, outreach and advocacy.
“It is exciting that we not only have this opportunity to actively participate in the reduction of mental health disparities locally, but CBU students can also be engaged in this important effort,” Penny said.
Penny said the evaluations will give CBU students an opportunity to help facilitate focus group sessions and participate in data collection along with additional community engagement opportunities.
The primary goal of the CRDP grant is to invest in new and existing community programs that have shown promise in reducing mental health disparities in underserved communities across California.