Mental Health Workgroup
The Georgia State University Prevention Research Center (GSU PRC) Mental Health Workgroup (MHW), a collaborative and multi-disciplinary partnership, is committed to the mental health and wellness of Clarkston-based individuals, their families, and the community through advocacy, research, prevention, intervention, and education.
Our vision is to be a trusted and proactive partner for supporting healthy lives in the Clarkston community. We will do this by:
- Enhancing awareness about and advocating for mental health and wellness in the Clarkston community.
- Decreasing the stigma of mental health challenges in the Clarkston community.
- Increasing access to evidence-based, affordable, holistic, culturally and linguistically competent, trauma-informed, and wellness-focused services that promote mental health, prevent the development of mental health challenges and address mental health problems that currently exist.
- Adding to the scientific evidence base by conducting mental health research on mental health programs/strategies and identifying the best ways to implement these programs/strategies.
Workgroup calls are held on the second Thursday of every month at 3 pm. To join the call, or for more information contact Dr. Ashli Owen Smith.
COVID-19 Needs Analysis Survey
The overarching goal of the Prevention Research Center (PRC) COVID-19 Needs Assessment Survey is to provide data to City of Clarkston stakeholders and other community-based organizations serving the Clarkston community to inform how they prioritize and allocate resources. This was accomplished by administering a web-based survey available in 9 languages (English, Swahili, Nepali, Arabic, Dari, Sgaw Karen, Hindi, Somali, Burmese, and Amharic) using convenience sampling and participant-referral. The survey includes questions about participants’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and how the pandemic has impacted their and their family’s work, schooling, housing, access to food, and access to healthcare as well as questions related to participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Results were disseminated to the City of Clarkston stakeholders as well as published in academic journals. See the final report here. For more information, contact Ashli Owen Smith.
Health for All
A broad-reaching health promotion campaign in partnership with the City of Clarkston that aims to improve community-wide and individual health outcomes by increasing knowledge of local health services and facilitating a supportive environment for people to access these services. We partner with the DeKalb Board of Health mobile units to provide preventive services at community-based health events. Health education and promotion materials are culturally and linguistically appropriate and multi-lingual student volunteers help staff the events, providing both language assistance and assistance making preventive care appointments. This project is ongoing and findings will be shared once available. For more information, contact Meck Xayavongsa.
Women’s Health Project
Maternal and reproductive health (MRH) care among refugee and immigrant women (RIW) is suboptimal leading to profound health disparities with respect to myriad health outcomes.
The Women’s Health Project aims to increase knowledge and improve access to women-centered community health and clinical health resources in Clarkston. We studied the reasons why women attended these clinics as well as their health-related outcomes. This project is ongoing and findings will be shared once available. For more information, contact Mary Helen O'Connor.
Social Network Analysis
The aim of this project was to conduct a social network analysis to identify community-level dissemination modalities within existing social structures. We began with the Community Advisory Board. Our goal is to understand the most efficacious peer-delivery network to disseminate our applied research findings. Furthermore, we hope to learn who is working together and how information is collected or shared. This project is ongoing and findings will be shared once available. For more information, contact Iris Feinberg.
Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs about Covid-19
Engaging a Refugee Community to Address COVID-19 Mistrust, Misinformation and Stigma
This project aims to understand the attitudes and beliefs the refugee, immigrant and migrant Clarkston community members have about the COVID-19 vaccine. Our goal is to identify the most effective modalities and processes for disseminating culturally and linguistically appropriate health information to the community. This information can be used by our partners and other organizations involved in refugee, immigrant, migrant and African American health to improve population health. For more information, contact Ashli Owen-Smith.
Social Determinants of Health
Community Needs Assessment
This project was started in response to a request from our community partners, Ethne Health and the Clarkston COVID Task Force, to administer a covid-19 needs analysis in Clarkston. We carried out a community needs assessment to better understand the impact of the pandemic on the community and help our partners identify areas with the highest need. We surveyed 179 individuals between the months of April and May 2020. The sample size was made up of 28% (51) non-refugee and 72% (128) Refugee/Asylee members. The assessment found that the most urgent needs were related to financial insecurity, food insecurity and healthcare access. For more information, contact Mary Helen O’Connor.
Covid-19 Communications Project
The Covid-19 Communications Project was started to address the unprecedented challenges created by Covid-19 regarding the delivery of culturally and linguistically competent health information to Refugee, Immigrant and Migrant communities. In collaboration with the Adult Literacy Research Center, we identified communication needs surrounding COVID-19 early in the pandemic. We created a library of high-interest low-literacy materials about COVID-19 for those who work with adults with low literacy skills and who also may have limited English proficiency. Furthermore, we created a vaccine video in 21 languages that encourages individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine. We also created a booklet in multiple languages called “Answers to Coronavirus Questions” to dispel myths and rumors and printed it in multiple languages which were distributed throughout the Clarkston community. All of our materials were created in collaboration with clinical and community partners to ensure scientific, cultural and linguistic accuracy. For more information contact Iris Feinberg.