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BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1681, 2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412454


BACKGROUND: Trauma is a significant public health issue, negatively impacting a range of health outcomes. Providers and administrators in public mental health systems recognize the widespread experience of trauma, as well as their limited ability to address trauma within their communities. In response, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health funded nine regionally based community partnerships to build capacity to address trauma. We describe partnership and community capacity-building efforts and examine community impact, defined as successful linkages to resources and changes in stress tolerance capacities among community members. METHODS: We conceptualized community capacity-building as dissemination of trauma-informed education and training, community outreach and engagement, and linkage of community members to resources. We measured trauma-informed trainings among partnership members (N = 332) using the Trauma-Informed Organizational Toolkit. Outreach, engagement and linkages were documented using Event and Linkage Trackers. We examined changes in the type of successful linkage after the issuance of statewide mandatory restrictions in response to COVID-19. We examined changes in stress tolerance capacities among community members (N = 699) who were engaged in ongoing partnership activities using the 10-item Conner-Davidson Resilience Scale; the 28-item Coping Orientation to Problems; and the pictorial Inclusion of Community in Self Scale. RESULTS: Training and education opportunities were widespread: 66% of members reported opportunities for training in 13 or more trauma-informed practices. Partnerships conducted over 7800 community capacity-building events with over 250,000 attendees. Nearly 14,000 successful linkages were made for a wide range of resources, with consistent linkage success prior to (85%) and during (87%) the pandemic. In response to COVID-19, linkage type significantly shifted from basic services and health care to food distribution (p < .01). Small but significant improvements occurred in coping through emotional and instrumental support; and sense of community connectedness (p < .05 each). CONCLUSIONS: Community-based partnerships demonstrated effective capacity-building strategies. Despite the pandemic, community members did not report reduced stress tolerance, instead demonstrating gains in external help-seeking (use of emotional and instrumental supports) and perception of community connectedness. Future work will use qualitative methods to examine the impact of community capacity-building and the sustainability of this approach for addressing the impact of trauma within communities.

COVID-19 , Capacity Building , Community-Institutional Relations , Humans , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
Ethn Dis ; 30(4): 695-700, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808403


The coronavirus pandemic of 2019 (COVID-19) has created unprecedented changes to everyday life for millions of Americans due to job loss, school closures, stay-at-home orders and health and mortality consequences. In turn, physicians, academics, and policymakers have turned their attention to the public mental health toll of COVID-19. This commentary reporting from the field integrates perceptions of academic, community, health system, and policy leaders from state, county, and local levels in commenting on community mental health needs in the COVID-19 pandemic. Stakeholders noted the broad public health scope of mental health challenges while expressing concern about exacerbation of existing disparities in access and adverse social determinants, including for communities with high COVID-19 infection rates, such as African Americans and Latinos. They noted rapid changes toward telehealth and remote care, and the importance of understanding impacts of changes, including who may benefit or have limited access, with implications for future services delivery. Needs for expanded workforce and training in mental health were noted, as well as potential public health value of expanding digital resources tailored to local populations for enhancing resilience to stressors. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes in delivery of health care services across populations and systems. Concerns over the mental health impact of COVID-19 has enhanced interest in remote mental care delivery and preventive services, while being mindful of potential for enhanced disparities and needs to address social determinants of health. Ongoing quality improvement across systems can integrate lessons learned to enhance a public mental well-being.

Coronavirus Infections , Delivery of Health Care , Health Services Needs and Demand/organization & administration , Mental Health/trends , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Public Health , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Humans , Organizational Innovation , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Public Health/methods , Public Health/trends , Quality Improvement , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology