Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2023


Goal Statement: To increase Mental Health awareness and resources among adults with untreated mental disorders in the Sunnyside community (Understanding Houston, 2023).

Significant Findings: 18,6004 residents reside in Sunnyside. Nearly half (48%) were between 20 and 64 years of age, 18% were 65 or older, and many out of this group have untreated mental disorders or have been hospitalized for mental health symptoms (Sunnyside Survey Shows Neighborhood's Social Fabric Is Strong, 2019). These findings include the LGBTQ community, which accounts for about 40% of people who reported experiencing mental illness in the last year (Kolanek, 2020). The target problem in the Sunnyside community is the high rate of untreated mental disorders in adults (Understanding Houston, 2023). Moreover, a lack of awareness about mental health disorders and resources poses health barriers (County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, 2018). Also, this community has less than half the access to Mental Health providers than the national average poses another barrier (Understanding Houston, 2023).

Objectives/Strategies/Interventions/Next Steps: Objectives, Strategies, and Interventions for Counselors to apply: 1) Two theories that apply to the Sunnyside Prevention Program are the Health Belief Approach and the Stages of Change Approach (National Cancer Institute, 2005). These approaches will assist the Counselor in addressing the inadequacy of awareness about mental health disorders and the lack of resources that poses a health barrier in the Sunnyside community. 2) Three mechanisms to increase cultural relevance are Working (Boots on the ground interaction), Actively listening, and making local connections. These three components build trust and acceptance and cultivate extrinsic community motivation regarding implementing a mental health prevention tool in their community (Reese& Vera, 2007). 3) Partner with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to increase mental health awareness and prevention via the National Night Out (National Night Out, 2023). 4) Applying an Existing Evidence-Based Program, the Social Decision-Making Problem-Solving program implements readiness for social and decision-making skills to shift the community's mindset toward mental health awareness and prevention (Promising Practices Network, 2014). 5) Utilizing the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies offers counselors a framework to increase counselor self-awareness, client worldview, counseling relationship, and social justice components (Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies, 2015).