Northeast Delta HSA releases full report of Rise Above Stigma initiative
Northeast Delta Human Services Authority (NEDHSA) announces the release of the Rise Above Stigma report. This evaluative document serves as a full report on what was accomplished during the 12-month project, which 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 the past year allowed the agency to join with the people living in Louisiana’s Delta. "Our dedication to listening and learning more from our region’s most vulnerable citizens allowed us to specifically create stigma-reducing programs and services to help meet their needs.”
"At the 6-month mark, we knew we were serving our people but needed to keep innovating and do more. We also knew that we were creating a blueprint for our region, the state, and nation on how to establish service innovations and community connections that would help transcend brokenness and various forms of racial and political divisions," Dr. Sizer said.
NEDHSA contracted SheRay's & Associates to facilitate and evaluate the agency's Stigma Reduction Plan implementation for the time period of July 2021 to December 2021. NEDHSA then selected The Measurement Group LLC to independently evaluate the Rise Above Stigma campaign at the 6-month mark. At that time, Dr. Lisa A. Melchior, president of The Measurement Group LLC, said there was "evidence of progress revealed in the report."
"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 in February 2022.
NEDHSA continued the Rise Above Stigma project and focused on the objectives, outcomes, and long-term goals of its Logic Model, such as: reducing behavioral health stigma; increasing access to behavioral health support services; engaging marginalized populations in accessing recovery into the paraprofessional workforce; and, ensuring safety and wellbeing of individuals in each parish.
"As we concluded the last 6-months of our Rise Above Stigma initiative, we were laser-focused on doing something about what we heard and learned,” Dr. Sizer said.
In FY 2022, NEDHSA provided 25,708 services to outpatient clients. The total service includes 9,685 billable services and 16,023 non-billable services. From FY21 to FY22, billable, non-billable, and total services increased by 19%, 258%, and 103%, respectively. The number of unique clients served also increased by 8%. Through marketing and communication efforts, NEDHSA's anti-stigma messaging garnered 6.8 million impressions and more than 194,000 total engagements through its billboard, newspaper, social media, and traditional media platforms.
Dr. Sizer added: "We intentionally opened another clinic, established a state-of-the-art mobile health unit, developed and disseminated stigma related content across multiple platforms, hosted a regional psychodrama, facilitated two summits, led several mural events, established a mobile app, and built a more inclusive website. And because of our outcomes focus, we conducted empirical research to see if we were making a difference. The data showed that we did make a difference, and that difference is what we were after.”
The report is available here for viewing.