Monroe, LA – Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (NEDHSA) announces the release of its six-month Rise Above Stigma evaluation report. This evaluative document serves as a progress report on what was accomplished during the first six months of Rise Above Stigma. It is also designed to further support data-informed decision-making. NEDHSA’s Rise Above Stigma initiative aimed to help increase access to behavioral health services, provide mental health awareness, and increase culturally and linguistically appropriate training for people living in northeast Louisiana. NEDHSA Executive Director Dr. Monteic A. Sizer said in this six-month report, “we were determined to meet people where they were to understand better the issues and obstacles that limited individuals from seeking lifesaving health services.” “We recognize this project’s potential impact on our region, state, and nation and believe it will be a blueprint on how service innovations and community connections can transcend brokenness and various forms of division,” Dr. Sizer said. “You will find that we have been committed and consistent in how we have created innovative programs, resources, initiatives, and community engagement strategies to help address many of the negative social determinants found in our region.” In July 2021, NEDHSA contracted with SheRay’s & Associates to facilitate and evaluate the implementation of our Stigma Reduction Plan. The Measurement Group LLC was selected to independently evaluate the Rise Above Stigma campaign. Dr. Lisa A. Melchior, president of The Measurement Group LLC, said, “There is evidence of progress revealed in the report.” “Despite the challenges faced in achieving the goals of the project, we have already begun to observe evidence of progress in engaging parish members at the grassroots level in working to address behavioral health stigma in their communities,” Dr. Melchior said. While this evaluation focused on the first six months of the Rise Above Stigma initiative, Dr. Sizer indicated the work would continue.
“Our Rise Above Stigma campaign is a continuation of the innovative work we have been doing since NEDHSA was established nearly nine years ago,” Dr. Sizer said. “From the very beginning, we have been meeting the region’s people in their homes, community centers, and houses of faith better to understand their fears, needs, and dreams. And after hearing from the people, we immediately begin to form collaborative agreements to work across race, class, politics, and governmental silos to help meet the needs of our diverse constituency.” The agency currently has a mental health mural being toured throughout the 12-parish region and is currently hosted at the Northeast Louisiana Delta African American Museum during February for Black History Month. It will be at the Union Parish Museum of History and Art in March. The agency is also hosting a regional theatrical psychodrama in May as part of its Rise Above Stigma initiative. To view the report, click the following link: https://bit.ly/NEDHSAStigma6MonthEvaluation