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A Community Health Coach–Delivered Mental Wellness Intervention: Using Mind–Body Bridging to Reduce Health Disparities in Diverse Communities
Pedagogy in Health Promotion
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2017
Pages: 167 - 176
Source ID: shanti-sources-69096
Abstract: Research has shown that members of racial and ethnic minority groups experience greater cumulative stress burden. Because a high cumulative stress burden increases the likelihood of mental health disorders, community health coaches trained in techniques to help community members manage stress more effectively could be an important step toward improving mental health in minority populations. As a pilot project, we invited individuals from organizations representing five minority populations to receive training in Mind–Body Bridging (MBB), a mindfulness approach that teaches skills to calm the mind and relax the body. Participants included community health coaches, organizational leaders, and community members. Surveys of quality of life and self-efficacy were conducted at the beginning and completion of training, and at 9 months following completion. A focus group was also held at training completion to solicit perceptions of the usefulness of MBB among the participants’ respective communities. Eleven participants completed the training. Overall, participants reported regular use of MBB techniques to manage their own stress and showed some moderate improvements in both quality of life and self-efficacy. MBB was generally perceived to be a useful tool for community health coaches, with perceived strengths including the ease of teaching it to others and increased ability to empower community members to handle their own problems more efficiently. Next steps include longitudinal tracking of the coaches’ use of MBB as a coaching tool and monitoring outcomes among the community members receiving the coaching.