Category Archives: Underserved Populations

Suicide prevention outreach materials to reach Spanish-speaking community members

In July 2013, a project was established to develop targeted suicide prevention outreach materials to reach the Spanish-speaking community, with emphasis on community members with low literacy language skills. A framework to guide this effort was developed that included gathering input from stakeholders throughout California including county and state agencies–totaling 35 statewide contacts and five focus groups with 41 community health workers (Promotores) across five counties.

Available Materials:

  • Flipchart
  • Leave behind tent card and brochure
  • Development of Suicide Prevention Outreach Materials in Spanish
  • Spanish Low Literacy Tips to Use Flip Chart Handout
  • PowerPoint presentation in English
  • PowerPoint presentation in Spanish
  • Short Report:  Findings from the pilot implementation in Kern County
  • Short Report:  Findings from the pilot implementation in Los Angeles County
  • Short Report:  Findings from the pilot implementation in Stanislaus County

To access these materials, click HERE

Culture and community: suicide prevention resources for Native Americans in California

This guide presents an annotated and illustrated collection of culturally relevant and responsive suicide prevention social marketing materials developed by Native groups in California and other states. The guide also provides background on social marketing and safe messaging, describes helpful resources for suicide prevention programming in American Indian and Alaska Native communities, and includes an appendix of AI/AN materials that address topics closely related to suicide prevention, such as alcohol use, depression, and mental illness.

Access the guide HERE

Save the Date: Comment Period for Statewide Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities

Beginning January 12, 2015, the 30-day public comment will open for the Statewide Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities.

Drafted by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) in collaboration with six partners in the California reducing Disparities Project (CRDP), this report is funded by the Mental Health Services Act.

This Strategic Plan represents the voice of African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latino, Native American, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) communities in California, as captured by five Strategic Planning Workgroups, or SPWs.

View the plan at

Please send all comments and feedback to

See the calendar for the CDRP Town Hall Meetings to hear input on the plan.


Pathways to Wellness: Saving Refugees with Better Mental Health Screenings

In the year 2012 alone, the United States has accepted more than more than 58,000 refugees, and according to a meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association, roughly 30 percent of refugees surveyed suffer from PTSD and about 30 percent battle clinical depression.

In an article on the website, David Wallis profiles Pathways to Wellness, a public-private partnership called which is part of a grassroots trend in the last five years to address refugees’ mental health.

Funded by groups that include the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Pathways to Wellness is one tool that refugee settlement organizations can use to help those who have fled to the U.S. for a better life. Despite resistance and barriers, Pathways has proved effective and popular; more than 50 refugee aid organizations across the country and as far away as Australia have signed utilization agreements to replicate the program. Continue reading “Pathways to Wellness: Saving Refugees with Better Mental Health Screenings” »

Seeking Serenity in a Patch of California Land

The thinking of Fresno County community leaders and health professionals is that gardens can help foster resiliency and a sense of purpose for refugees, especially older ones, who are often isolated by language and poverty and experiencing depression and post-traumatic stress. Immigrant families often struggle to meet insurance co-payments, and culturally attuned therapists are in short supply.

Many immigrant and refugee cultures do not have a tradition of formal mental health treatment, said Rocco Cheng, a psychologist and a director of the California Reducing Disparities Project, a statewide policy study. “Therapy is a Western concept,” he said. “The Hmong do not have a word for mental illness.” But, he said, they are well able to grasp the idea of mental, physical, spiritual and emotional wellness.

Andrey Kovalenko, the director of Slavic family support services for Fresno Interdenominational Ministries, which operates five of the gardens, said that the 7,500 or so Russian-speaking evangelical Christians, including members of his own family, still contend with emotional reverberations from religious persecution, which included humiliation at school, arrests and forced exile. For many, mental health treatment is “a taboo subject, associated with the Soviet system of being locked up.” The garden, he said, “helps them to reattach.”

To read more about Fresno HTCC, please click here


Resources for Supporting California MHSA Innovation and Prevention and Early Intervention Programs