BATON ROUGE – Medical professionals say the capital city is far from a picture of health. That’s led the city-parish to create a new website where people can find local resources and information.
Baton Rouge is one of the top 50 most stressed cities in the nation. The city and local organizations like Louisiana’s chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, promotes free classes and resources to change that.
NAMI is promoting mental health during National Stress Awareness month with yoga.
“We know how important it is to be able to practice mindfulness and just get out there and move your body,” NAMI Louisiana Advocacy and State Program Director Tatiana Gonzalez said.
The organization partnered with a local yoga group providing a free class to relax.
“We decided to partner to raise awareness about the importance of stress management,” Gonzalez said.
The statewide organization is one of many partners that teamed up with Baton Rouge’s new Healthy BR website.
“We helped develop it to make sure that the community’s needs were going to be part of that website,” Gonzalez said.
The new website provides information about the city’s main health concerns based on local hospitals’ research.
The website’s sections include healthy living, maternal and infant health, HIV/STI, behavioral health and community health.
“We’ve been much more intentional about the information,” Healthy BR Executive Director Jared Hymowitz said. “You could actually go on the Healthy BR website and look up this information in really clear, understandable words of different diseases and different terms that you may not know.”
It also guides residents to local health care providers.
“You can look and say, ‘Okay, I want to find a location that’s closest to my house,’ so you could put in your address, and it’ll tell you: here are these five different organizations,” Hymowitz said.
The city kept a few aspects from the old website.
“We have the same things we had before, like our community calendar where people can upload and see different events,” he said.
As Healthy BR continues to promote and support free events like NAMI’s mental health classes, the city hopes to minimize the major health concerns.