Search for the Teenaged Brain. Heather Harlan, Certified Reciprocal Prevention Specialist Phoenix Programs, Inc. Columbia, MO. NAMI Missouri State Conference Lake of the Ozarks Port Arrowhead Conference Center November 4, 2011. Learning Objectives.
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Heather Harlan, Certified Reciprocal Prevention Specialist
Phoenix Programs, Inc.
NAMI Missouri State Conference
Lake of the Ozarks
Port Arrowhead Conference Center
November 4, 2011
Didn’t connect astounding (irritating) changes in behavior, appetite, attention span, poor judgment, risky behaviors, and sleep patterns to their brains.
Scientists in 1997 were surprised!
Dr. Jay Geidd, National Institutes of Healthsaw something he didn’t expect to see.
Scientists knew human frontal lobes continue to grow but thought it was over about age 2 yrs.
forming gray matter,
treelike branches—dendrites , THEN
Some connections thrive.
Used the most.
Enables human brain to
specialize and adapt—connecting all those brain cells with neuropathways, enabling parts of the brain to work together smoothly.
Last to mature—front
Pre-frontal cortex—right behind your eyes and forehead
Helps us plan ahead.
Asks, “What might happen IF . . . .?
Research suggesting teens’ IQ is not set in stone.
IQ seems to be a gauge of acquired knowledge that progresses in fits and starts.
Teen brains changing in even more ways
than we knew.
The one thing the adolescent brain is best designed to do?
Neurologically, learning is the process of developing effective neuropathways.
Make it possible for us to learn.
What’s a reinforcer?
A positive reward that increases a likelihood a behavior will be repeated is a positive reinforcer.
A negative response that increases the likelihood a behavior will diminish or stop.
In the brain it comes in the form of chemical rewards.
There’s a lot at stake
So I’m gonna learn how
To make a good brain great.
Neurons fired together are wired together.
Youth who begin drinking before age 15
are 4 times more likely to become
alcohol dependent than those who
wait until they are 21.
(Pacific Institute on Research and Development)
It’s about the brain
f o r e v e r
. . . how can we empower advocacy for evidence-based prevention, intervention, and treatment for youth?
These messages only tell youth and
young adults what NOT to do.
These messages don’t help youth LEARN what TO do!
science or evidence-based programs.
What’s an evidence based or
“Here’s what worked for me.”
“I heard of someone who . . . .”
“We’ve always done it that way.”
“We have a 21 day program.”
“But how well does it work?”“What’s the number of people it helps and how does it help them?”
Just DO something.
I don’t care how well it works—just DO something.
Based on how well the program or intervention helps teens and young adults as a special population in areas we agree to measure (with grant funders).
Not based on how great
the idea seems or
how good it makes us feel.
MFH grant focus on measuring suicide prevention
Follow Up Data (N = 26)
Data demonstrates that clients had a reduction in suicidal thoughts/actions from intake to follow up.
and in community
Fed. Gov. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
(should be able to name a type or model of treatment not length of the program)
2. Upon what science do you base your programs?
(vs. It’s what’s traditionally done. . . .)
3. Where can I learn more about that?
(website, book, article, brochure?)
“We already do that.”
Go to www.nrepp.samhsa.gov and search for Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach
Enter criteria for other science-based programs.
Phoenix Programs, Inc.
Email to request copy of Power Point presentation 573-875-8880 x 2142
Funding for this project was provided in part by the Missouri Foundation for Health. The Missouri Foundation for Health is a philanthropic organization whose vision is to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves.