Launching the We Run Brownsville Wellness Initiative
Building Healthy Communities
August 12, 2020
Through its Building Healthy Communities priority area, NYHealth has supported neighborhood-level approaches to improve access to healthy, affordable food and to activate spaces to encourage more physical activity.
Recognizing that sustainable resident engagement is vital to community health, NYHealth is supporting its Building Healthy Communities grantees to ensure that the residents of these neighborhoods have the leadership skills, resources, and other tools needed to advocate for community health. With this support, grantees can help remove barriers to resident participation and ensure the long-term sustainability of the overall work in these communities. In 2020, NYHealth awarded We Run Brownsville a grant to address the harmful effects of institutional and structural racism on the mental health of women of color in the Brownsville community.
Under this grant, We Run Brownsville launched a pilot program for creating an additional pathway for community members, particularly women of color, to take control of their health and improve their physical and mental wellness. The WRB Wellness Initiative ensured access to effective mental health care, including individual and family counseling sessions with culturally reflective psychologists, social workers, and licensed counselors; group counseling sessions for frontline service providers; and screening and referral services to resources outside of the organization. We Run Brownsville also deployed a social marketing campaign designed to reduce stigma and raise awareness of program services and efforts to combat the negative effects of institutional and structural racism on mental health, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.