Improving Mental Health by Reducing Stress and Anxiety Related to Common Individual and Family Tasks.

Front Range Region




Primary Topic:

Health and Well-Being

Other Topics:

No additional topic areas, only my selection from previous question

Lead Mentor:  

Sheila Gains

CSU Extension, Family and Consumer Science Specialist, Arapahoe County

Internship Overview:

This internship is for a junior, senior, or graduate student who has taken course work in research methods and health communications with an understanding of mental/behavioral health and wellness. Most of CSUE FCS programs have the potential to help individuals reduce anxiety around common daily stressors, such as money management, meal preparation, nutrition, parenting, caregiving, etc. This internship position will help develop the tools necessary to evaluate, if by learning skills and strategies to manage these stressors, our programs make a difference in reducing stress/anxiety. This internship will help develop well-crafted mental health messages that relate to the program topics into existing curriculum. The intern will help develop tools to evaluate whether the delivery of these messages as part of the program, can further reduce anxiety and stress while improving self-efficacy and a sense of hope. Plans are to evaluate audiences’ anxiety and stress levels who did and did not receive the mental health messages along with the lesson find out if direct and specific mental health messages make a difference.

Goals, Scope and Objectives:

Goals: A) To reduce anxiety and stress in the lives of CSUE FCS program participants. B) To document the improvement of mental health by participating in CSUE FCS programming, both with and without mental health messaging.

Objectives: A) To evaluate the reduction of anxiety and stress related to individual and family tasks addressed by current CSUE FCS programing. B) To develop and integrate short, digestible mental health messages into current CSUE FCS programs for delivery by CUSE Specialists. C) To evaluate if the addition of specific mental health messages into current CSUE FCS programs can further reduce anxiety and stress of participants.

Scope: By the end of this internship: A) Survey/evaluation tools should be developed and tested for reliability. B) Mental health messaging for specific programs should be developed and tested. C) A survey/evaluation plan, including distribution, data collection and data analysis should be written and reviewed by mentors and appropriate faculty members. D) IRB program application should be either submitted or in final draft.

Note: Survey/evaluation implementation might have begun but will not be completed during the internship timeframe. Implementation, collection, and data analysis will not be completed for at least 12 months, as CSUE FCS instructors continue to offer programing and administer the survey/evaluation. The intern will have the option to continue with this project in the future, if it meets their needs for a research project or thesis. Internship does not include actual data analysis.

With which stakeholder group(s) will the intern work?

CSUE FCS and Rural Health Specialists, Aurora Mental Health Center, student’s department advisor, as appropriate.

What student learning outcomes do you anticipate and what are the opportunities for professional development?

Student will become familiar with the 2020 CSU Extension Statewide Needs Assessment data. Student will become familiar/proficient with the CSU IRB requirements and project approval process. Student will feel confident in the development and testing of survey/evaluation questions. Student will successfully load survey/evaluation question into Qualtrics. Student will learn to develop a data collection and analysis plan. Student will gain skills in mental health messaging for general audiences. Student will have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative research and education process.
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