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California Hospital Medical Center Case Study

California Hospital Medical Center's Response to Address Teen Mental Health

Organization: California Hospital Medical Center – Dignity Health

Overview of Organization: Community Health advances community-based efforts that address the social, economic, and environmental conditions influencing the health and health equity of vulnerable populations through capacity building, grant giving, investments, innovative partnerships and collaborative health programs that improve population health. Community Health extends these efforts in our service areas, and influences health care systems across the nation and around the world, to serve communities with compassion and prioritize the needs of those who are vulnerable.


Funding: California Hospital Medical Center Public Benefit Funds

Program Name: Mind Matters Summer Program

Program Setting: Six week all-day summer program for middle and high school students

Location of Instruction: Hope Street Margolis Family Center which is part of California Hospital Medical Center located in South Central Los Angeles.

Curricula Used: Mind Matters: Overcoming Adversity and Building Resilience

Curricula Benefits: Mind Matters empowers youth to determine how to address their stresses and challenges to improve their wellbeing.

Content: Based on the staff’s perception of the youth’s needs five lessons were selected including:

  • self-soothing
  • sleep
  • physical activity
  • life of intention (goal setting)
  • the ongoing journey (motivation, grit, and reviewing past skills)

Some examples of the activities and skills within each of these topics included: meditation, journaling, tapping, breathing exercises, therapeutic coloring, creating vision boards, chair yoga, and aromatherapy.

Group discussions were also facilitated for students to share their own lived experiences as they related to the topics.


Class Size: The Mind Matters program enrolled a total of 19 high schoolers and 20 middle schoolers. At the last workshop, there were a total of 8 high schoolers and 14 middle schoolers in attendance.

Target Audience: Middle school and high school students

Audience Demographics: Latino and African American students 13-18

Length of Instruction (# of Sessions and Hours per Session): One-hour weekly workshops over five weeks. The middle and high school students meet at separate times.

Challenges? Attrition affected the summer program including the Mind Matters sessions.

Instructors: Community Health interns – one in a Masters of Public Health program and one in a Bachelor’s program – led the workshops for the students. Hope Street Margolis Family Center’s staff was present during program and assisted instructors.

Incentives to Teachers and Students: Students were enrolled at Hope Street in an all-day six-week summer program so they were automatically enrolled in Mind Matters. Some incentives were given to students only.

Observable Outcomes: At the last workshop, a survey was given to those in attendance. Overall, the comments were positive and encouraging. Most students responded that they enjoyed the group activities, their favorite activity was the vision board and the icebreakers. A total of 87.5% of high schoolers enjoyed the icebreakers while 71.4% of middle schoolers enjoyed the components that included group interactions. Almost half the students mentioned that they enjoyed learning about sleep hygiene, which included the benefits of sleep, napping, sleep deprivation, and tapping for relaxation. The majority of participants found the stress relieving techniques such as the breathing exercises, meditation, and tapping were most helpful.