Community Health Workers (CHWs) are important, highly trusted public health workers who serve the community. This trusting relationship enables them to serve as a link between health care providers and families. It also breaks through stigma. CHWs make health services better in quality and cultural competence as well as help community members access services and increase health knowledge. (Learn more about CHWs here)
CHWs are highly effective in the wide-range of health issues their training covers; however, their training does not cover mental health let alone mental health of young children. Even if a CHW works with adults with diabetes or with pregnant or new mothers, the CHW need to understand mental health of young children and other family members. The CHW Mental Health Community of Practice (CoP) fills that gap.
The group is led by Community Health Workers for Community Health Workers. The events, whether training or self-care events or socials, bring together CHWs regularly to support one another with shared stories and resources. These events also provide tools to care for their own well-being and compassion resilience, so CHWs can keep doing the important work they do rather than burn out. Finally, the Community of Practice is involved in creating new training, resources, and policies to make being a CHW even better so all families can experience positive mental health outcomes.