Mary Phan

How can we introduce evidence-based interventions to improve underserved youth’s mental health that are sustainable and cost-effective? Using a community-based participatory research approach, Mary intends to collaborate with key stakeholders within the schools and community to implement mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) for underserved youth. MBIs are financially low-cost, and once learned, can be practiced anytime and anywhere, making them a flexible and feasible approach with diverse populations. When working in real-world settings, it’s crucial to consider how shared values may affect feasibility and sustainability when implementing MBIs. Considering these factors, Mary is researching how teachers could play a pivotal role in encouraging students to practice MBIs if they themselves also practice mindfulness and implement MBIs in their classrooms. With her research, Mary hopes to impact policy within schools to bolster the effect of improved mental health outcomes for underserved youth.

Growing up in a low-income community, Mary has witnessed how societal barriers impact underserved youth’s well-being and mental health. Motivated to make systemic changes in schools by implementing mindfulness-based interventions, she will focus on sustainability, fidelity, and its cost-effectiveness in improving underserved youth’s mental health.


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