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The
Community
Psychologist

Volume 53   Number 1 Winter 2020

Prevention and Promotion

Edited by Susana Helm, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Toshi Sasao, International Christian University, and Kayla DeCant, Rape Advocacy, Counseling & Education Services

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Co-Chairs (L-R) Susana, Toshi, Kayla. Brainstorming at the Chicago SCRA Biennial 2019

The Prevention and Promotion Interest Group (PP-IG) endeavors “To enhance the development of prevention and promotion research, foster active dialogue about critical conceptual and methodological action and implementation issues, and promote the rapid dissemination and discussion of new developments and findings in the field” as stated on the SCRA website (http://www.scra27.org/who-we-are/interest-groups/).  To achieve this goal, the PP-IG co-chairs agreed during our interest group business meeting at the June 2019 SCRA biennial to resurrect the Prevention & Promotion IG column in The Community Psychologist after a decade hiatus.  In this column, we will highlight prevention and promotion resources at the local and global level as well as the work of community psychologists and allied professionals engaged in Community Psychology (CP) prevention and promotion. We invite submissions from current and new PP-IG members, from people who present on CP prevention and promotion topics during SCRA biennial and other conferences; and from leading and emergent scholars publishing in prevention and promotion-focused journals. Please refer your colleagues and friends in academia and beyond to our interest group and column. Please email Susana at HelmS@dop.hawaii.edu if you would like to submit an article for our column or if you have resources we may list here.

Toshi Sasao (2014-present).  I am more than delighted that this interest group survived over the years, and now that both Kayla and Susana have joined the group, we are in good hands with many exciting opportunities and activities planned now for the future.  I moved to Tokyo way back in 1997 at International Christian University and believe it or it, I am still here. I am currently Professor and Chair, Department of Education and Language Education, and Director of the University’s Peace Research Institute. In my initial postdoctoral work, I directed a series of evaluation projects for California’s immigrant youth and communities for substance abuse and violence prevention for almost a decade at UCLA. I was funded by CSAP, NIDA, and CDC Minority Health. My focus of research has shifted slightly toward promoting the well-being of hidden or forgotten communities in Japan (viz., Zainichi Koreans and foreign workers). The approach taken here is based on a social justice perspective. An APA fellow and SCRA fellow (since 2007), I have formerly and currently worked with many SCRA committees including (former) the Ethnic and Racial Affairs Committee, the Award Nominations Committee, the Council of Education Programs, the Publications Committee, the International Committee, etc. Like I said, I am very much encouraged by this group of new co-chairs.

Kayla DeCant (2019-present).  I am optimistic about the future of PP-IG and I am honored to be able to work with Susana and Toshi in my capacity as co-chair. As an early-career practitioner I am excited to grow with and learn from this group. I am a recent graduate of Vanderbilt’s Community Development & Action (CDA) Master’s program (2018) where I learned about the intersections of research and practice, about translational work, and where I solidified my involvement with SCRA by becoming the Editor of the Practice Council’s Community Practice Bulletin (https://www.scra27.org/what-we-do/practice/practice-council-initatives/community-practice-bulletin/). I am currently the Prevention Education Coordinator at a local sexual violence resource center in Urbana, Illinois where we provide sexual violence prevention to students, staff, parents, and community members. Here’s to a great year for the PP-IG!

Susana Helm (2019-present). I am eager to serve as PP-IG co-chair with Toshi and Kayla in the upcoming years. The majority of my career has been devoted to youth prevention and health promotion with families, schools, and in neighborhoods. Early on I worked in urban public housing neighborhoods and rural schools and communities across Hawai`i.  Currently, I am a professor at the University of Hawai`i, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry Research Division where we have developed teen dating violence prevention and youth substance use prevention interventions (Helm et al. 2013; Helm & Davis, 2017; Okamoto, Helm et al. 2019). My previous roles with SCRA have included co-chair of the School Intervention IG (2005-2009) and the Rural IG (2011-2018). Through both the School and Rural IGs, I edited their TCP columns, and will do so for this interest group, too.  As can be seen in our photo from SCRA Chicago Biennial 2019, we brainstormed a number of ideas for increasing exposure of prevention and promotion in immediate and proximal ways that may benefit the knowledge-skill base and professional development of community psychologists – by reviving this column, pursuing collaborations with other CP conferences/meetings in our respective regions, and other ideas.

References

Helm S, Baker C, Morales Diaz NE, Rodriguez Del Toro V, Colón-Castillo M. (2013). International perspectives on intimate partner violence.  Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 4(3), 1-10. (http://www.gjcpp.org/).

Helm S & Davis K. (2017). Puni Ke Ola. Drug prevention in rural Hawaiian communities.  Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 8(2), 1-6.

Okamoto SK, Helm S, Chin SK, Hata J, Hata E, Okamura K.  (2019). The implementation of a culturally grounded, school‐based, drug prevention curriculum in rural Hawai‘i. Journal of Community Psychology, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.22222.