Ballroom F

Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health


The proposed workshop addresses strand IV. “Health”: Mental & Physical Health- Promoting the Mental And Physical Health Of All Children and Youth Especially For High-Poverty Populations. The workshop provides methods and skills for selection of prevention strategies based on analysis of root causes of physical and mental health issues including substance abuse, suicide ideation, self-injury and violence (bullying). The case-study to be presented documents the efficiency of selecting strategies that reduce risk factors that are common to all of these problem behaviors. Though the method can be used in any community, special consideration is given to young people who live in an area marked by a culture of rural poverty.

Brief Program Description

This session is an interactive workshop providing an opportunity to practice new skills for determining the relative efficiency of various prevention strategies especially in areas of rural poverty. Participants will be given a template for conducting calculation of efficiency of competing prevention strategies.


Limited prevention resources and shifting priorities require strategic planning that will result in the desired outcomes with the greatest efficiency. This challenge is exacerbated by socio-cultural factors in small communities characterized by the culture of rural poverty. Social norms in these communities often differ significantly from mainstream norms. Many rural poor families have lived with unemployment and poverty for several generations but maintain a strong sense of community. Many do not avail themselves of services out of pride and a sense of self-reliance. Others cannot participate in services because of lack of transportation. While strong family-centered norms provide some protective factors, a lack of experience, knowledge or motivation for academic achievement can result in children being unprepared to function in the 21st century. Children from this culture often must interact with children from more traditional middle class families who attend the same schools. This leads to a sense of what social psychologists call a sense of “relative deprivation.” Selection and implementation of prevention strategies must take these factors into account. The case study discussed in this workshop describes a comprehensive prevention program that utilized the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) and implemented the LifeSkills Training program, an evidence-based, school-based individual prevention program in a high-poverty rural setting. Evaluation of this program included a comparison of an individual and environmental strategy that provided insight into the effectiveness, efficacy and efficiency of both as they relate deliver in this low-income community. Improved physical health and mental health of individuals and populations is a desirable outcome of any prevention program. Selecting the most efficient strategies is critical to reaching this outcome. Cost-benefit analysis of the LifeSkills Training program compared to an environmentally based strategy will be presented to demonstrate the value of comprehensive prevention programming. The proposed session will be an interactive workshop. Workshop activities will provide an opportunity to practice new skills and participants will be given a template for conducting calculation of efficiency of competing prevention strategies.


Describe evidence that demonstrates the field-tested effectiveness of the proposed solution or approach. Explain how the proposal is based on known research and promising practices. A six year longitudinal cohort study of students in five(5) rural schools that participated in LifeSkills Training (LST) demonstrated significantly smaller increases in risk factors and significantly less decline in protective factors as students moved from sixth to twelfth grade compared to students from five(5) similar schools that did not complete LST. Estimated effects of LST include 72.3% smaller increase in favorable attitudes towards drug use; 59.3% less perceived parental attitudes favorable to drug use; and 57.3% less lack of perceived risk of drug use. In addition to the impact on substance use related factors, there were significant reductions in onset of factors such as parental attitudes favorable to antisocial behavior, favorable attitudes toward antisocial behavior and rebelliousness. These were determined to be root causes of health and mental health problem behaviors including; suicide ideation, bullying and self-injury.


Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Lynne Gochenaur is a senior trainer for National Health Promotion Associates. Mrs. Gochenaur has been working for NHPA since 1999, conducting LifeSkills trainings throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and the United States Territories. Mrs. Gochenaur became a Lead Trainer in 2001, conducting Training of Trainers and mentoring new trainers. She has over twenty years experience delivering the LifeSkills Training program to students.

Mrs. Gochenaur is also the Student Assistance Coordinator for the Marcus Whitman School District in Rushville, New York. She also is an Olweus Technical Assistance Consultant for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program through Clemson University.

Mrs. Gochenaur has thirty years of experience working with adolescents both as an individual and family counselor. Mrs. Gochenaur is credentialed as a Certified Prevention Professional by the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services.

Rob Lillis is President of Evalumetrics Research and has been providing planning, research and evaluation services to youth development, traffic safety, substance abuse, criminal justice, education, health and mental health programs at the state and local level for over 35 years. He provides evaluation services for communities and school districts for a variety of special programs including Drug Free Community Grant programs and serves as evaluation consultant to the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (ACASA) and numerous other local substance abuse prevention and youth development programs. He is the evaluator for 21st Century Learning Center programs in Allegany and Wayne Counties, mental health early screening projects, after-school mentoring programs and environmental education programs. Mr. Lillis has served as the evaluator for the Ontario County Juvenile Drug Treatment Court, the Finger Lakes Drug Court, Ontario County Youth Court, the Finger Lakes Child Abuse Response Team-Child Advocacy Center and the Ontario County Family Support Center. He also has conducted outcome studies for the Yes Pa Foundation, character education program.

Mr. Lillis was the primary source of research support to the governor and Legislature during the debate on the 21 year old minimum drinking age law in New York. He also served on the consultant panel for the U.S. General Accounting Office Special review of Minimum Drinking Age Laws.

Since 1991 Mr. Lillis has served as a member of the Impaired Driver Assessment Consultant Team for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and has conducted 60 assessments of prevention and treatment programs in 42 states, Puerto Rico and for the Indian Nations. He was the 2011 recipient of the NHTSA Public Service Award.

Mr. Lillis is a member of and conducts research for the New York Alcohol Policy Alliance.

Keyword Descriptors

poverty, rural, strategic planning, sustainability, evidence-based, prevention

Presentation Year


Start Date

3-2-2015 3:00 PM

End Date

3-2-2015 4:15 PM


Mar 2nd, 3:00 PM Mar 2nd, 4:15 PM

Effectiveness, Efficacy and Efficiency: the 3 E’s of Prevention Planning

Ballroom F

This session is an interactive workshop providing an opportunity to practice new skills for determining the relative efficiency of various prevention strategies especially in areas of rural poverty. Participants will be given a template for conducting calculation of efficiency of competing prevention strategies.