Trauma-Informed Adolescent Wellness Communications:
Targeting Low-Income Communities of Color
During this presentation, MEE focused on how to develop communications that promote mental wellness among adolescents from lower-income communities of color. The strategies are based in a protective-factor approach that acknowledges ongoing stressors and even traumas, but also embraces strengths and resilience. MEE President Ivan Juzang, the lead presenter, asserted that providers in a range of settings can prevent or reduce mental health issues by promoting the protective factors that counter the risk factors (social determinants of health) that too often keep them in survival mode. MEE explained how using a “protective-factors framework” with youth living in low-income, urban and rural communities can provide inoculation against the stressors they are bound to face.
MEE used lessons learned from health communications research and projects in Louisiana and across the country to explain key elements of a successful communications strategy, beginning with reversing the traditional communications model. Community-engagement tactics were presented as cost-effective and culturally-relevant building blocks on the road to primary prevention. MEE provided examples of trainings and case studies do-able “protective-factor” interventions that can be implemented for a variety of budgets.