Project Summary

The University of New Mexico (UNM) Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention opened school-based health centers (SBHC) on the campuses of the Laguna-Acoma Middle/Senior High School and the To’hajiilee Community School nineteen years ago with funding from the Indian Health Service. These schools are located in rural communities that serve Pueblo, Navajo and Hispanic adolescents. The project will expand mental health services at the two Teen Centers and will be co-led by Dr. Martin Kileen from the UNM Department of Pediatrics and Dr. Steve Adelsheim from the UNM Department of Psychiatry. Key components of the expansion include:

  1. Increase the clinical time of the masters level behavioral health provider at each site from 20 to 30 hours per week;
  2. Provide on-site psychiatric consultation one day per week to the SBHC primary care and behavioral health providers to increase their capacity to identify, diagnose, and initiate therapy for behavioral health problems. Pediatric and psychology interns rotating through the Teen Centers will also participate.
  3. The project psychiatrist will provide quarterly in-service sessions for staff and community providers, and assist with developing community behavioral health coordinating committees;
  4. Provide training and consultation to SBHC and community providers in the use of Motivational Interviewing substance abuse interventions, an evidence-based brief intervention developed at the UNM Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addiction (CASAA).

In addition to Teen Center staff, other participants involved in the program expansion include: family members, UNM Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addiction staff, the Indian Health Service and tribal program providers, school administrators, school behavioral health staff, and school special education staff.


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Caring for Kids is funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered by The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, a nonpartisan policy and program center based at The George Washington University.