Healthy Lifestyles Initiative is a community project aimed at improving the health and well being of families and children through health literacy education, asthma control and patient education, community fit days, school-based fitness and recreation, church-based walking clubs, cooking classes, mental health services, and safety programs. Some of the programs include CATCH, or Coordinated Approach to Child Health, which uses a dietician to connect with students in PE classes and provide them with information about healthy meals; We Can!, which is a family-based program aimed at emphasizing the importance of eating a balanced portion of fruit and vegetables daily while limiting the amount of unhealthy foods; Fit Day, which is a special day held at an Indianola park where families come together and play; Health on the Shelf program, which works with local convenience and grocery stores to have a shelf or certain area of the store where healthier items would be marketed; and the use of “5-1-0” stickers that encourage five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day, one hour of physical
activity, and zero sugary drinks.
Abstinence Plus is an eight-week group-level, education and behavior skills training intervention, utilizing a curriculum approved by the Mississippi Department of Education, designed to reduce risky sexual behaviors among teens. Using pre- and post-tests of the participants, we know that close to 95 percent of the students increase their knowledge and awareness of the key points in the class.
Mayor’s Health Council is a group of community members and local business leaders who meet on a regular basis to advise the city on policies and programs designed to target chronic diseases in Indianola. The council’s work has been designed to strengthen the capacity of Indianola’s existing health and wellness organizations and businesses and to promote new policies and community improvements that will support chronic disease prevention, healthy lifestyles, and a culture of wellness across all age groups in the city.
Community Gardens focuses on increasing the number of children consuming fruits and vegetables and educating families on how to plan, start, grow, and maintain a source of their own fruits and vegetables.
Special Programs include a variety of outreach activities geared to emphasizing certain issues within the Indianola community. Over the last year, special workshops have been held on “Fathers & Sons,” “Girl Power,” and “Bullying.”