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News from the Greater New Orleans Foundation

Greater Good News

Foundation Launches 
Community Lighthouse Project
with $1 Million Grant


On Tuesday, the Foundation announced a major grant as the lead investor and partner in the the Community Lighthouse Project, an initiative of Together New Orleans. The gift is the Foundation’s largest single grant from its Hurricane Ida Disaster Response and Restoration fund and will create a community-wide network of resilience hubs at nonprofit organizations that respond to disasters, like the New Wine Christian Fellowship in LaPlace where the announcement was madeEach will be powered by commercial-scale solar systems with back-up battery capacity that will enable the nonprofit to assess needs and provide assistance to surrounding communities during hurricanes and power outages.
 

read the press release >>
view the media coverage >>

Gail Benson Honored
with The Times-Picayune Loving Cup


A member of the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s board and also the Foundation's Spark of Philanthropy Award recipient in 2019, Mrs. Gayle Benson has been instrumental in launching some of the Foundation’s most impactful recent undertakings. She spearheaded the Louisiana Service & Hospitality Family Assistance Program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and generously supported our Hurricane Ida Disaster Response & Recovery Fund. Mrs. Benson’s extraordinary generosity has touched nearly every corner of Southeast Louisiana and the Foundation offers our heartfelt congratulations to her on this well-earned honor.

Photo:  Mrs. Gayle Benson and Andy Kopplin, President & CEO, Greater New Orleans Foundation, pictured at the New Orleans Saints practice facility for the Loving Cup Award reception.
 

read more >>

MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH!

Today's Greater Good features stories and resources for mental health and well-being.

“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close

Safe Haven to Open Behavioral Health Center
for Law Enforcement Training 

 

After a long time in development, the Safe Haven Campus project is well underway in St. Tammany Parish and is on its way to becoming a national model in behavioral and mental healthcare. In 2021, the Parish broke ground on the 4,000-square-foot training and education center for law enforcement officers and others who work with people needing behavioral health services. The training center is slated to open in the winter of 2022. Safe Haven's mission is to be "a place where all people living with mental illness or substance use disorders can come to be assessed, locate services, and ultimately receive the care they need based on where they are within their behavioral health journey."

Safe Haven will eventually also house NAMI St. Tammany, one of the Foundation's partners and nonprofit grantees. 
 

read more>>

LCMC Children's Hospital Opens
51-Bed Behavioral Health Center for Children 

 

After more than 1,400 days of construction, Children’s Hospital New Orleans officially re-introduced their state-of-the-art expanded main campus in Uptown New Orleans. Of the many new projects on campus, their 51-bed Behavioral Health Center brings children's mental health center stage by offering comprehensive mental and behavioral health services. It is one of the largest pediatric mental health programs in the country and the only psychiatric program in the Gulf Coast region exclusively dedicated to the mental healthcare needs of children and adolescents in crisis.

Children's Hospital also took second place for most unique donors in this year's GiveNOLA Day!
 

read more>>

Our Greater Region

News and events from around the 13-parish region, with a mental health lens.

We are heartbroken at the news of 21 deaths in the Uvalde, TX school shooting. We recognize that there may be members of our community looking for resources that may help to aid children, parents, and families cope with trauma. 

  • What better way to clear your mind and celebrate Memorial Day than getting out and going for a bike ride? To raise awareness of mental health and give opportunities for healthy exercise, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana and foundation partner Blue Krewe are sponsoring a free Blue Bikes ride promotion. Use promo code "LetsRide" for one free, 30-minute ride from now until the end of the month. Learn more.
  • Another great way to practice self-care is through yoga. The Ohm Well, with support from the Foundation, puts on free community yoga sessions Mondays at 6pm at Lafitte Greenway. Head to their Instagram for more information!
  • Zooming outward to mental health on a global scale, UNICEF has provided a seminar for parents on how to support children through the pandemic's challenges. Watch the recording.

People of Philanthropy

We believe that everyone can be a philanthropist. Meet the people, grantmakers, and nonprofits that are making it a reality.

Meet Nick Richard, Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), St. Tammany. 
Name: Nick Richard
Role: Executive Director
Organization: National Alliance on Mental Health St. Tammany


Favorite part of your job? It’s the interactions with individuals; knowing day in and day out that we get to improve the lives of people living with mental illness in our community. It’s a difficult system to navigate in most cases, so being able to connect people, build relationships, and find solutions is inspiring.

Something you wish everyone knew about mental health? Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. However, mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends, or coworkers. What we need to remember is mental health is an essential part of overall health. That it’s ok to not be ok. There are resources and support, and assistance in accessing what you need for self-care.

What small steps can folks take to manage stress? The simplest, most effective thing we can do is be kinder to others, be kinder to yourself, give people grace, and be understanding that we have all had challenges at one point or another... Practice self-care and focus on what you have control of, not that which is out of your control. Seek support from the community and learn where support is available. Remember that you are not alone.

What does well-being look like to you? It looks like an individual who participates in their own self-care, seeking support when needed and striving to be their best self. And it looks like a community that participates in, and supports, the needs of these vulnerable citizens. This is done through showing respect and meeting these individuals where they are. It’s done through assuring there are programs to meet the basic needs of food, clothing, housing, and support where needed, while encouraging independence to the extent that is appropriate.

Your favorite hidden gem on the Northshore? I’ll limit it down to just a few…. anything Pat Gallagher owns (527, Rest Awhile, Front Street) and when in downtown Covington, I have to go to Meribo. Another hidden gem is Jazz in the Vines. They have great music; the kids can run around and we visit with friends. My family and I have been going for years.
 

The Good Word

What we’re reading and listening to with a focus on Mental Health.
  • Nearly fifteen years ago, Tim Ferriss went viral for proposing a 4-day workweek. In his most recent podcast, Ferriss revisits the idea with today's pandemic-induced lens. Take a listen to this podcast that touches on many of the things that you might be experiencing in your daily work: burnout, anxiety, and the "cult of productivity." Ferriss proposes solutions that are both radical and practical and will leave you feeling optimistic for the future of work. 
  • Consider this book to be meditation and mindfulness 101. In his book-turned-podcast 10% Happier, ABC Nightline anchor Dan Harris explains how he embraced meditation after an on-air panic attack. If you are a meditation skeptic, this book is the perfect lighthearted look at the world of self-help, spirituality, and joy. Learn more about 10% Happier here.
  • This month's Red Table Talk, hosted by Willow and Jada Pinkett Smith, features Oscar winner Kim Basinger and her daughter Ireland Baldwin in their first-ever interview together. The pair open up about their personal experiences with depression and the mental health issues that impact millionsWatch here.

Lagniappe


Boost your serotonin levels with a quick dose of goat yoga at LSU.
Thanks for joining us for today's edition of The Greater Good.

Until next time!
The Greater New Orleans Foundation Team
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