Collective for Healthy Community

CHC, a W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded program, was created in response to the disproportionate negative mental health impact on poor people and people of color in the aftermath of Katrina. IWES developed a division of post-disaster mental health recovery and emotional resiliency to respond to the needs of the community. In an attempt to address the aforementioned concerns, IWES has developed several projects; namely, the HIM/Fatherhood Consortium and Community Based Listening Circles. The cultivation of this division has required a concerted effort among multi-disciplinary professionals (psychiatry, social work, public health, anthropology, and political science).

CHC most recently entered into an exciting partnership with Dr. Melissa Harris Perry’s Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race and Politics in the South. Through this partnership CHC is working with her students at Tulane University to conduct Community Based Wisdom Circles. CHC is utilizing Dr. Harris Perry’s theories about shame in the African-American community as a framework for discussions with the following groups: 1.) African-American female community leaders, 2.) African-American female faculty members at local universities, 3.) African-American high-school students, 4.) African-American male leaders, and 5.) African-American teachers in the greater New Orleans area.

Of the five aforementioned cohorts of Community Based Wisdom Circles, three have already been conducted. Through these circles CHC is investigating protective factors and other assets that promote emotional resiliency. As CHC embarks upon conducting Community Based Wisdom Circles with the remaining cohorts, CHC will continue to gather and analyze information received from these circles to inform both policy and practice.

CHC is excited to announce that it will be partnering with BY!-NOLA! to host a conference entitled “The Root of it All: The State of Mental Health in New Orleans.” The conference will feature keynote speaker and world-renowned social psychiatrist, Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove. In addition to Dr. Fullilove, the conference will feature other local experts in the field of mental health. The event will take place on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at Dillard University’s Professional Schools and Sciences Building from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The goal of the conference is to present the community-at-large with mental health data gathered from IWES program participants, and to provide a platform for lay community members, community leaders, multi-disciplinary professionals, and policy-makers to come together to address the unique needs of the New Orleans youth population.



As CHC enthusiastically enters its second program year, it continues to work towards promoting community healing among the citizenry of New Orleans.