Resilient Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Resilient Baton Rouge is a program designed to increase local community capacity in the Baton Rouge area of Louisiana to manage mental and behavioral health in flood-prone parts of the region. By engaging local leaders and healthcare providers, the program has been able to focus on not only delivering mental health services to residents displaced by floodwaters, but also to engage community members in a longer-term process to strengthen both the local communities themselves but also the plans to increase resilience in the region. By deeply engaging affected residents and stakeholders, the plans for resilience broadly are more responsive and targeted to those most affected by the floods. The program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with fiscal sponsorship from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.
The 2016 Great Flood in Baton Rouge, caused severe death and property loss. Suffering from the loss and displacement, survivors were struggling to rebuild their own homes under great stress. This stressful process has resulted in behavioral health problems such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. To support flood survivors’ mental health conditions, the Resilient Baton Rouge program was established through the collaboration of the Community and Patient Partnered Research Network, Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Louisiana Department of Health, and Baton Rouge Health District. The program’s primary objective is to expand and build greater local behavioral health service delivery capacity by training and local providers’ support. In the first year, the program had four goals, to:
- Build mental health services delivery capacity
- Plan and coordinate services
- Develop partnerships to promote community resilience
- Develop the National Resilience Learning Collaborative
The program was granted $800,000 by the Robert Wood Foundation. Four local mental and behavioral health service providers were selected as subgrantees with $300,000 of the $800,000 to hire more staff and to pay for the expanded working hours to provide affordable services for flood-impacted residents. The rest of $500,000 was spent on training mental health screeners and building local mental health infrastructure. This case study demonstrates how post-disaster communities can be supported through collaboration among researchers, community agencies, and local governments to build resiliency.
- Louisiana Department of Health
- Community and Patient Partnered Research Network
- Baton Rouge Area Foundation
- Baton Rouge Health District
- Education/training materials