Project Summary

Background: There is often a stigma around seeking care for mental health conditions in under-resourced communities, particularly African- American and Hispanic communities.  Yet people with conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder cannot “just get over it,” and symptoms can persist for decades if not treated.  PCORI’s Psychological and Pharmacological Treatments for Adults with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A Systematic Review Update and PCORI’s Treatment Options for People with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Evidence Update for Healthcare Consumers are two resources that can help educate the community and provide useful information to help reduce the stigma and ridicule felt by people experiencing PTSD from racial trauma and other stressors.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: The First Ladies Health Initiative (FLHI), is a 14-year-old 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. First Ladies (Pastor’s wives) are trusted and welcomed voices in their communities. From FLHI’s hybrid headquarters in Chicago, FLHI will use social/digital, broadcast, and print media, including community events and awareness seminars, to deliver important messages to stakeholders to encourage better mental health care choices and destigmatize the need to seek help. The project will be implemented in Chicago; Los Angeles; and Gary, Indiana.

Objectives: FLHI aims to raise awareness by disseminating and utilizing PCORI-funded research and evidence updates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other relevant information to African-American and Hispanic communities to destigmatize treatment for PTSD and racial trauma.

Activities: FLHI will partner with medical and educational partners to incorporate the appropriate components of the PCORI-funded research and evidence into materials, as well as initiate links to the evidence for review and consideration by stakeholders.  FLHI will develop online materials, create, and distribute promotional pieces and other materials containing the most powerful evidence and awareness efforts for PTSD, including racial trauma as extracted from the PCORI research/evidence to African American and Hispanic communities affiliated with FLHI. FLHI will disseminate this information to stakeholders through FLHI’s podcast; First Ladies church communication platforms; digital, broadcast, and print media; community events; awareness seminars; and survey results. FLHI partners including City of Hope, Los Angeles; University of Illinois School of Public Health, Chicago/Gary; and other community organizations and educational/medical partners will validate the research team’s versions of the evidence for accuracy.

Projected Outcomes and Outputs: Materials will be created for medical and educational review (flyers, surveys, awareness seminar information, and magnets). After review, all materials will be disseminated to community members online through social media, in churches, and at community events. A final report developed with FLHI program participants will be produced with the process documentation and it will include data from the surveys, reach, and process documentation.

  • Short-term outcomes during the project period: FLHI will disseminate PCORI-funded research to stakeholders raising awareness and destigmatizing treatment of PTSD, including racial trauma.  Dissemination efforts will be evaluated through stakeholder surveys and seminars. 
  • Mid-term outcomes (zero to two years post project period): FLHI will discuss de-stigmatization of PTSD treatment and increase awareness for PTSD and racial trauma with stakeholders.
  • Long-term outcomes (three and more years post project period): FLHI will continue online, radio/tv, and community dissemination of the PCORI research/evidence via long-term messaging.  African-American and Hispanic communities will readily seek help from appropriate sources for their mental health care.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: Project stakeholders are patients, caregivers, church congregations, public at large, government, community, and medical and educational partners. FLHI will utilize its marketing expertise, political and other officials, input from PCORI, medical/educational partners, and community representatives to create and disseminate content via digital media, community events, and awareness seminars. Each year, stakeholders will be engaged for at least nine months. 

Project Collaborators: The project team is subcontracting City of Hope and University of Chicago. From each market, First Ladies and our partners will support and contribute to this project.

Project Information

Tracey Alston, BC, BS
First Ladies Health Alliance NFP

Key Dates

24 months


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: July 5, 2023