204834 Lessons learned from STAND: Community and individual readiness for a community-based peer support program

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stacey C. Cunningham, MS , School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Paula D. Zeanah, PhD, MSN, RN , School of Medicine, Tulane University, New Olreans, LA
Jean Valliere, MSW, LCSW, BACS , Maternal and Child Health, Louisiana Office of Public Health, Baton Rouge, LA
Joan Wightkin, DrPH , Maternal and Child Program, Louisiana Office of Public Health, New Orleans, LA
Jeanette H. Magnus, MD, PhD , School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
In response to Hurricane Katrina and based on formative research, STAND developed a program to help women provide mutual social support by training them to facilitate community-based support groups and one-on-one conversations . Training focused on communication and group facilitation skills and action planning for using the skills. After training and with support from STAND, Community Women's Health Advocates (CoWHAs) would use these skills to lead support groups. Though women and organizations were interested, it was difficult for the project and the CoWHAs to remain engaged. By increasing outreach activities, increasing community awareness and conducting staff-led workshops on stress and coping, STAND was able to increase its reach and engage more community members. Thus, providing information and training in contexts that fit with women's everyday lives and not as an added activity, provided more traction for program. Given the individual and community-level changes involved in the protracted hurricane recovery process, the STAND project sought to evaluate the role of community and individual readiness in initiating and maintaining a community-based peer support program. After developing a definition of individual and community readiness that incorporated leadership (formal and informal); community climate; knowledge about the issue; and resources (people, time, money, space), both active and inactive CoWHAs were interviewed to determine degree of readiness at the time of training. Additional interviews were conducted with community organizations that expressed interest in the project. Results are used to describe key features of community and individual readiness to engage in community peer support program.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe key features of a community readiness model 2. Identify at least two important factors for community and individual readiness for a peer support program

Keywords: Community Collaboration, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Senior Program Manager of this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.