Providing Intervention Services by Reducing Risktaking Behavior & Tempering Resilience

Intervention services are part of the comprehensive continuum of care within Behavioral Health.

These strategies promote environments and conditions that support behavioral health by reducing risktaking behavior, building assets and resilience, and increasing the ability of individuals to withstand challenge. Service delivery typically occurs in environments or populations having multiple risk factors or with individuals exhibiting precursor signs or symptoms of substance misuse/abuse (e.g. experimentation and use), mental health problems (e.g. numerous symptoms although it is not diagnosable), or medical problems (e.g. borderline cholesterol levels). Intervention targets the signs at symptoms close to onset preventing their escalation to a full-blown problem.

Intervention services can have different faces and are most effective when appropriately matched to the level of risk. There are three broad types of strategies:
  1. Universal intervention takes the broadest approach, targeting the general population, without regard to the presence or absence of risk factors. These strategies reach a large audience. Universal intervention might target schools, whole communities, or workplaces.
  2. Selective intervention targets individuals or sub-groups of the population determined to have specific risks for developing substance abuse and/or mental disorders or chronic physical conditions. Selective intervention targets biological, psychological, or social risk factors that are more prominent among high-risk groups than among the wider population.
  3. Indicated intervention targets high-risk individuals who are experiencing early signs or symptoms of mental, emotional, behavioral disorder, or medical disorders. Strategies focus on the immediate risk and protective factors present in the environments surrounding individuals and reduce their effect to prevent the development of a full-blown problem.

WestCare has a strong commitment to promoting behavioral health and preventing problems before they occur. The Guidance Care Center's Teen Intervene Program provides group and individual level services to middle and high school to ameliorate risk factors that may lead to substance misuse/abuse. The Village's Project IMPACT provides group levels interventions to middle and high school youth throughout Miami-Dade County by teaching the youth life skills that can prevent the onset of substance misuse/abuse and mental health problems. The Village Miami Beach Coalition uses universal prevention strategies targeting the Miami Beach community to deter underage drinking and the sales of alcohol and tobacco to minors, and to monitor local festivals to ensure they are not promoting underage drinking. The Coalition works closely with the Mayor of Miami Beach, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Police Department.