The Mission of the Center for Youth Social Emotional Wellness (CYSEW) is to promote youth mental health equity; defined as the right to access quality mental health care regardless of the individual’s race, ethnicity, linguistic literacy/proficiency, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, disability status, or geographical location. Center faculty and staff work with youth of all ages but consistent with the Rutgers Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (RYBHI), have particular passion and expertise for promoting positive mental health and wellness for adolescents and emerging adults.
In New Jersey and nationally, mental health inequities are driven by systems and structural factors that disproportionally impact groups living in low income neighborhoods and minoritized based upon race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation/identity. Structural barriers to accessing quality mental health care cannot be solved by individuals, or even by groups of individuals from any particular discipline. CYSEW is a cross-disciplinary center that works in partnership with the Brandt Center with the goal of bringing together researchers, community and business leaders, and mental health providers from psychology, social work, education, psychiatry and other disciplines to develop holistic and comprehensive strategies to address the significant mental health inequities that exist in New Jersey and nationally. The center has a community advisory board and diversity, equity, inclusion committee that work with the director and center faculty and staff to ensure that CYSEW goals and priorities are inclusive and meet the needs of the community.
CYSEW was created based upon the vision of Dr. Francine Conway, Chancellor-Provost at Rutgers (https://newbrunswick.rutgers.edu/chancellor-provost/about-francine-conway) - “By providing evidence-based, quality mental health care and support for young people—including youth in underserved and underrepresented communities—this initiative will be a national model of adolescent and young adult behavioral care.”
THE CENTER PROVIDES:
● Training and workshops on school and community evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies and partners with schools and community organizations to provide mental health services in high needs areas.
● Program evaluation of on-going school and community mental health efforts.
● Integration of high-quality mental health assessment and treatment services into pediatric practices, schools, and businesses to reduce stigma and increase access to care.
● Formal support and mentoring for trainees, faculty, and community agencies who are interested in conducting cross-disciplinary community-based mental health work, including pilot funding and grant writing support.
- Go, girls! N.J. Girls on the Run program teaches kids life lessons as they hit the pavement - https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/go-girls-n-j-girls-on-the-run-program-teaches-kids-life-lessons-as-they-hit-the-pavement/ar-AA1b8swS - NJ.com
- Prescriptions for ADHD drugs spiked during the pandemic, CDC reports find - https://www.nbcnews.com/health/mental-health/prescriptions-adhd-drugs-spiked-pandemic-cdc-report-finds-rcna77430 - NBC News
- Bullying (Central Regional School District) - https://muckrack.com/broadcast/savedclips/view/6FBvUcYI4e - WCBS-AM (New York)
- Rutgers Youth Behavioral Health Initiative Leadership - https://support.rutgers.edu/explore-causes/rutgers-health/rutgers-youth-behavioral-health-initiative/brandt-center-leadership/ - Rutgers University Foundation
- Rutgers Tackles the Mental Health Crisis Among Youth - https://www.rutgers.edu/magazine/winter-2023/rutgers-tackles-mental-health-crisis-among-youth - Rutgers Magazine
- How the Pandemic Impacted America's Youth Mental Health Crisis - https://research.rutgers.edu/news/how-pandemic-impacted-americas-youth-mental-health-crisis - Rutgers Research News
The inaugural CYSEW Director is Dr. Joshua Langberg, a Professor in the Clinical Psychology Program in the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP). Dr. Langberg is the Editor-in-Chief of one of the leading research journals focused on youth mental health – Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology (https://www.springer.com/journal/10802) and previously served as an Associate Dean for Research and the Associate Director of the Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development and Violence Prevention.
The inaugural CYSEW Associate Director is Dr. Germán A. Cadenas is a leading expert on the psychology of undocumented immigrants, including their sociopolitical activism, educational outcomes, career development, and psychological wellbeing. He develops and validates cultural competencies and social justice strategies for educators and mental health providers working with immigrant communities. Dr. Cadenas identifies as a Latinx immigrant himself and is formerly undocumented. He has expertise in policy advocacy and community organizing for immigrant rights, and regularly collaborates with local and national advocacy organizations. He currently serves as Vice President for Diversity and Public Interest in the Society of Counseling Psychology (American Psychological Association, Division 17) and is also active in the National Latinx Psychological Association (NLPA).
If you want more information or want to partner with CYSEW to address mental health equity, you can follow us on Twitter @CYSEW_Rutgers or contact Director, Dr. Joshua Langberg at email@example.com.