Physical health alone will not create a healthy and successful individual. A person’s mental health is another important piece of the puzzle. Schools and communities must offer safe and healthy environments in which youth and adults can learn, develop, and thrive.
With this in mind, the Picard Center is partnering with the Recovery School District to evaluate its Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant, which brings the school district together with community organizations and individuals to provide services that provide healthy development for its students.
Another program that creates a positive school environment is Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). This statewide program rewards positive behavior, while school staff implements preventions and interventions that make problem behavior less effective.
Expanding beyond children and schools, the Picard Center is studying a mental health program called the InCourage Project. This program was implemented in the Baton Rouge area following Hurricane Katrina to treat people with mental health problems due to post-disaster stress. Researchers are evaluating the replication of the program statewide.