Casmere Thomas



Adolescent Mental Health Literacy: Be In The Know

Primary Investigator: Casmere L. Thomas BSN, RN, CNN 

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to increase mental health literacy among adolescents from a socioeconomic disadvantaged community through an evidence-based educational intervention, in a community center setting. 

Methods: A total of 38 students in Manatee County, Florida, participated in this quasi-experimental pre and post-test study, which utilized the Mental Health & High School Curriculum Guide. The culturally diverse, male, and female participants attended Title 1 middle and high schools within Manatee County which also utilized the community outreach centers known as; The 13th Ave Dream Center and Educational Consultants Consortium Incorporated. Pre and post-tests measured mental health knowledge related to topics such as stigma, depression, and anxiety. The results of the tests were analyzed using a paired-samples t-test, comparing the test scores of the students before and after the educational intervention.  

Results: Thirty-eight students participated (24 females and 14 males) and completed the study. Students' mean test scores significantly improved between pre and post-tests (T(37)=5.342, p<.001, 95% CI [7.2409,16.0907]). 

Discussion: Mental health education curriculums should be implemented in various settings. Introducing mental health curriculums in community centers has the potential to promote mental health literacy among populations in need. Community centers provide a plethora of resources for families. Supporting these centers with the resources and educational materials could promote an environment to increase mental health literacy and increase awareness of community resources available for mental health.  

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the positive influence of utilizing  evidenced-based mental health educational curriculums to increase mental health literacy. The findings support the implementation of the mental health education curriculum in community centers as a setting to increase awareness among socioeconomic disadvantaged adolescents.   


Major Professor:  Sabrina L. Dickey, Ph.D., MSN, RN 


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