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BHIP Takes Aim at Teenagers’ Stress, Anxiety, Executive Function, Interpersonal Skills, and Overall Mental Health
Date:10/10/2019

As World Mental Health Day 2019 dawns this Thursday, October 10th, groups of Montgomery County middle school and high school students have improved neuro-cognitive executive skills to enhance learning and academics, are better able to handle stressors, utilize relaxation techniques and physical fitness, and apply lifelong social/interpersonal, leadership, problem-solving and coping skills, due to an innovative program called BHIP: Biopsychosocial Health Intervention and Prevention. Timely research conducted at the Pediatric Psychology Center, Rockville, Maryland shows that BHIP’s comprehensive health program significantly improves numerous areas of adolescents’ functioning.

Developed by Principal Investigator and Clinical Psychologist Dr. Kim Burgess, Ph.D., BHIP’s programs were offered during transition periods of middle school and high school when children are adjusting to many challenges and changes in school environments. For example, freshmen face not only the more rigorous academic and athletic requirements of school, but also friendship and social concerns, social media stressors like cyber bullying, and peer pressure related to drugs and alcohol.

Collaborating with Co-PIs and Professors Paul Hastings, Ph.D. and Julie Bowker Ph.D. to test BHIP’s effectiveness utilizing pre- to post self-assessments, they achieved significant positive changes in a range of areas:

  • Neurocognitive executive functioning - improved impulse/ self-control and metacognition, which help self-regulation and problem solving;
  • Social/interpersonal skills with peers/friends, parents, teachers and coaches, including higher levels of communication, cooperation, empathy, self-control, and being responsible;
  • Social media knowledge and appropriate use;
  • Emotion regulation, including improved ability to change emotional response to situations by reinterpreting and reappraisal, so they can cope better with adversity;
  • Physiological responses indicating that they may have become more attentive to emotional situations.

Notably, parents on average reported that their children showed:

  • More responsibility;
  • Improved interpersonal/social skills including communication, cooperation, empathy, and self-control;
  • Reduced behavioral and conduct problems;
  • Lower total problems (for example, with inattention, anxious/depressive symptoms, bullying others)

The ability to deliver an efficient youth mental health program within societies’ health care constraints, yet also provide evidence that this program is effective, means a powerful intervention and big step forward in prevention science.

About BHIP
BHIP (Biopsychosocial Health Intervention and Prevention) was created and developed by Dr. Kim Burgess, Ph.D. Co-Principal Investigators are Professors Paul Hastings Ph.D. (UC-Davis) and Julie Bowker Ph.D. (SUNY-Buffalo). This cutting-edge course helps middle and high schoolers to handle stressors and learn lifelong skills that will ease their transition through the most challenging and stressful times of their development. BHIP’s mission is to intervene and prevent kids from experiencing unhealthy levels of stress, anxiety, frustration, mood changes, loneliness, and struggling or becoming overwhelmed with their academic and social lives. Learn more at https://www.be-hip.net.

World Mental Health Day, which focuses on suicide prevention this year, is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health and is supported by the World Health Organization, the International Association for Suicide Prevention, and United for Global Mental Health.

Read the full story at https://www.prweb.com/releases/bhip_takes_aim_at_teenagers_stress_anxiety_executive_function_interpersonal_skills_and_overall_mental_health/prweb16636987.htm.


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