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How YRBS Data Helped Hispanic UMADAOP Enhance Its Programming
In 2014, the PRCHN converted from a 150-page Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) Annual Report to modules posted on the PRCHN.org website. The first modules to be posted were based on 2013 High School YRBS findings. The modules present data in a variety of ways, including prevalence by region of Cuyahoga County.

Shortly after the website posting, Nelson Ramirez, then Program Director for Hispanic UMADAOP (Hispanic Alcohol Program), called to clarify YRBS data on the website. He was grateful for local data, having served in several capacities in the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs prevention and treatment world in other locations. He described how much this data would contribute to proposal writing and for evaluation of a variety of programs. 

At the request of Jean Frank, Manager of School-Based Surveillance and Education, Nelson joined the YRBS Advisory Committee in spring 2014 and has successfully used YRBS data in funding proposals to address violence and substance abuse among Hispanic youth.

In October 2014, during a YRBS Advisory Committee meeting, the YRBS team presented findings of interest from the 2014 Middle School YRBS administration. Nelson and other committee members were struck by the high prevalence of depressive symptoms, particularly among the Hispanic population on the west side of Cuyahoga County. As a result, the YRBS team created a data brief in 2015 about depressive symptoms among Cuyahoga County adolescents and a corresponding one-page "Spotlight" in English and Spanish that condensed key points from the data brief. The dual-language Spotlight on depressive symptoms among Cuyahoga County adolescents and one specific to Hispanic youth and the data brief were updated using data from the 2017 YRBS administration.

During NOCA's June 2015 Advisory Committee meeting, the committee asked to write a statement of recommendations and resources to accompany the release of the brief. Nelson agreed to chair a community committee focused on examining the presence of depressive symptoms among Hispanic adolescents, particularly females. He considers this issue, revealed by YRBS data, to be a call to action for the greater Hispanic community.

Important stakeholders have self-identified to participate in this committee possibly under the umbrella of the Hispanic Alliance: Schubert Center for Child Studies, Hispanic UMADOP, the Cleveland Clinic, Catholic Charities, MetroHealth Medical Center, and Esperanza, to name a few. 

YRBS data has led to successful funding of Hispanic UMADAOP’s prevention programming. In addition, the PRCHN has used its YRBS Advisory Committee to come together in a new way to address the particular issue of depressive sadness among teens, particularly Hispanic teens.

By connecting data to the proper organizations, the PRCHN has been instrumental in helping the nonprofit Hispanic UMADAOP obtain funding for substance abuse and violence prevention programming. The PRCHN’s relationship with UMADAOP has strengthened to the point where it is taking the lead to address the issue of depressive symptoms among Hispanic youth, a problem that was revealed through YRBS data.