PROPS is a subcommittee of the residency program at the Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the Baylor College of Medicine. Residents participate in various outreach activities to enhance their exposure to the field of community psychiatry while providing service to the community.
Psychiatry Resident Outreach to the Public Sector
PROPS was originally created by a group of residents at Baylor in the mid-1980’s to organize efforts for community service and thereby enhance resident participation in the public sector. In 1985, Dr. John Battaglia, then a second-year resident, worked with Houston Independent School District and Houston Psychiatric Society to address mental illness among children. He created a course on suicide awareness which residents taught in area middle schools.
This became the beginning of PROPS. Years later the activities of PROPS have multiplied such that there are now many programs in which residents participate each year. Though there are faculty mentors involved with the program, including Dr. French-Rosas and Dr. Asghar-Ali, the efforts are provided entirely by residents.
Harris County Sheriff's Office Police Outreach
More than 2,700 crisis intervention training (CIT) programs exist in the United States, aiming to improve collaboration between mental health treatment teams and police officers. Better mental health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs usually result from CIT enhancements. A burgeoning liaison between police and mental health professionals is possible if interdisciplinary collaboration is prioritized. Through a collaboration with the VA, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and APA SAMHSA Fellowship, a CIT interdisciplinary collaboration was formed in the Houston metro area. This initiative is led by Dr. Somto Obi and Dr. Nancy Shenoi with the intention to disseminate a high-quality mental health curriculum to local Houston law enforcement.
Chinquapin Preparatory School Project
Two years ago, school administrators from Chinquapin Preparatory School, a non-profit college preparatory school that serves underserved youth in Harris County reached out to our residents about starting a virtual lunchtime psychoeducation initiative. The COVID-19 pandemic was a particularly challenging time for students who had just shifted to online learning. Since 2020, our residents have hosted six lunch-hour sessions annually, educating both middle and high school students on a range of mental health topics including emotional regulation, body image, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Chinquapin School with our residents facilitating in-person sessions for 6th-12th graders this academic year.