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Coping Together: A family strengthening program fostering resilience and hope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Coping Together
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Wednesday, October 27, 2021
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12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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Wednesdays at the Center

During the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health care and psychosocial support for families has been scarce worldwide, including in North Carolina. To help fill this gap, two Durham-based community organizations partnered with a team of faculty and trainees from Duke to develop "Coping Together"-a program to support and strengthen families that was adapted from a similar program implemented in Kenya. Coping Together is a virtual intervention that brings families together to learn family communication, problem-solving, and psychological coping skills. It is provided by non-specialists, including community health workers. In this presentation, members of the team from Duke and the main community partner--Together for Resilient Youth--will co-present findings from the first pilot trial of Coping Together here in North Carolina. The team will discuss the formation of the community-Duke partnership, the process of delivering Coping Together during the pandemic, and preliminary data on changes experienced by families who participated in the program.

Dr. Eve Puffer is a global mental health researcher and a licensed clinical psychologist. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating integrated community-based interventions to promote child mental health, improve family functioning, and prevent HIV risk behavior. She has conducted much of this work in rural Kenya and is excited about beginning projects here in North Carolina.

Dr. Amber Rieder is a recent graduate of McMaster University's Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Graduate Program, in Ontario Canada(2019). Amber is currently a Global Mental Health Postdoctoral Associate at the Duke Global Health Institute and Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, under the mentorship of Dr. Eve Puffer, Dr. Lauren Franz, and Dr. Geraldine Dawson. Amber is interested in accessible approaches to mental health intervention across diverse settings, including community-based parenting and family strengthening programs.

Dr. Wanda Boone is the Executive Director of the non-profit Together for Resilient Youth ("TRY")--the major partner for the Coping Together project--and is deeply engaged in Durham, NC communities. Dr. Boone is a member of influential national, statewide and local committees focused on prevention and intervention initiatives focused on many goals, including reducing substance use among youth and increasing awareness about the effects of trauma on children and adults.