This June, five Community Health Advocates(CHAs), submitted applications to the Center for Healthy Communities to implement short term, limited scope community projects addressing nutrition, health literacy, family health, and mental health. These projects are:
Nutrition through Gardening: CHA Lead, Sheena Billingsley
Starting in July, Sheena and her partners planned four health and nutrition awareness events at community gardens in the area. These events focused on educating community members on healthy eating and healthy living. Each consisted of
- Hands on gardening activities
- Healthy cooking demonstrations
- Sustainable gardening techniques
- Conversations with volunteer health professionals
As an incentive for participation, participants received personal growing space in the community garden located in their zip code.
Community Garden at Ridge Manor: CHA Lead, Frewin Osteen
The goal of this project is to increase and enhance home-based and community centered gardening though the construction of a Hoop House to demonstrate the feasibility of a new gardening method suited to small, protected areas.
Smart Grocery Shopping Workshop: CHA Lead, Barbara Hodnett
Through this workshop which was held in June, Ms. Hodnett offered an educational program designed to help participants develop shopping skills to save money while buying healthy foods. The workshop topics included:
- Learning the typical layout of a grocery store
- Arranging your pantry and food storage areas to maximize healthy choices
- Reading labels to determine whether a product is a sound nutritional choice
- Creating a healthy weekly meal plan
Workshop participants also participated in a walking field trip to practice applying the information they had learned.
Hearts to HEAL (Health Education and Literacy): CHA Lead, Porsche Blount
This five-day summer enrichment program aims to improve the health knowledge and literacy, reduce associated stigmas, improve self-self esteem, and help to create a positive self-image among adolescent girls aged 12 to 18. The topics addressed in the program are
- Health literacy
- Family Health
- Mental Health
A pre/post test design will be used to measure the knowledge gained by participants in the program. Also, the final day of the enrichment experience will be an opportunity for the girls to give presentations about what they have learned.
Black Mental Health Matters: CHA Lead, Zionne Williams
Through this two part project, Zionne and her partners hope to “break the stigma associated with mental health in minority communities and to bring much-needed awareness to the issues associated with mental health.” Part one of the project consists of a family-friendly community event to raise awareness of the importance of recognizing when someone may need help and how to connect those in need with the correct resource. The event included fun kid’s activities, food and entertainment, and presentations from mental health professionals.
The second part of the project is the development of a mental health awareness campaign through an online platform to promote health literacy, create an open dialogue with the community, and encourage potentially affected individuals to seek and complete treatment. To accomplish the goal, individuals will be invited to share their personal stories through visual, written and audio documentation that will be shared online.
These CHA led projects provide an important mechanism for the Center for Healthy Communities to support the CHAs in applying the knowledge they gain through CHC supported trainings to target health issues that are of greatest concern to them. Through these projects they provide information in culturally relevant formats to improve the health of their neighbors.
Learn more about the CHA program.