Cutting-Edge Practice

4 What’s Next

State/Jurisdiction: Connecticut
Setting: School-Based
Population: Adolescent Health,
Topic Area: Mental Health,
NPMs: NPM 10: Adolescent Well-Visit

The 4 What's Next curriculum is supported by DPH through both fiscal and technical assistance education. As a primary prevention program 4 What's Next is a tool to support adolescent well visits which can be identified as a result of screening for behavioral/social-emotional well-being. The CT Maternal and Child Health Block Grant continues to support the adolescent well visits as a National Performance Measure chosen for the upcoming Five-year State Action Plan. Adolescent well visits support the CT goal of adolescents are safe, healthy and have the social-emotional skills needed to thrive. School Based Health Centers are a key partner to assist with strategies to promote the adolescent well visit and implementation of primary prevention programs that help to build resilience in high school students. 4 What’s Next is a primary prevention program that builds psychological resiliency in high school and middle school students to help bridge the gap between “now” and “next”. 4 What’s Next provides skills to handle stress and distress now and in their future. The 4 What’s Next Framework aims to teach students how to effectively handle distress by “reaching in” and utilizing independent coping strategies, “reaching out” by seeking and accepting help outside of themselves, or a combination of the two. This process is followed by an assessment of how well their chosen coping method is working and encourages them to reevaluate if needed. Over the course of 5 thirty-minute modules, students will identify individual manifestations of distress, understand how internal and external stressors impact mental health, and build resilience by learning specific actions to improve mental wellness.

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