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NOLA Public Schools Launches "The Mental Minute" Campaign to Prioritize Mental Health in Orleans Parish

(New Orleans – August 9, 2023) NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) took a significant step towards promoting emotional well-being with the launch of "The Mental Minute" campaign, a vital initiative developed under the umbrella of NOLA CAREs (CAREs - Community Access to Resources and Equity – is a program that marshals mental health resources, literacy, and career development under a single umbrella, and creates a federation of support services). Led by Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams, and developed in partnership with The Blairisms, the campaign is aimed at bolstering the mental health of scholars, families, and faculty across Orleans Parish by providing essential tools to cope with stress, reduce anxiety, and enhance emotional resilience.

"This campaign is an effort to uplift our community through proven techniques aimed at improving emotional and mental well-being," said Dr. Williams. "My core values are Equity, Excellence, and Joy. In order for our scholars to achieve any of those, they have to learn how to navigate stressful situations, recognize moments of anxiety, and use the tools they've been equipped with to avoid escalation."

"We are excited to be able to create this campaign with NOLA-PS and share it with the New Orleans community. Improving the quality of mental health in the city, especially for children, is critically important for everyone to feel safe in New Orleans," said Brandon Dottin-Haley of The Blairisms. He continued, "Everyone should be healthy, happy and able to take time for reflection and recovery when needed."

The campaign's official launch took place at Bricolage Academy during the first week of the 2023-2024 school year, featuring a special event, starting at 9:30 a.m., focused on training students and faculty in the art of deep breathing. Hip-Hop artist Mac Phipps made an appearance to share his experiences with the students who are walking the same halls he once walked, when he attended John McDonogh High School. To ensure the message resonates throughout the district, vibrant visual posters will be displayed strategically, reminding everyone to prioritize self-care, meditation, and reflection.

NOLA-PS is committed to fostering a healthy, supportive community and will work towards ensuring the campaign's benefits reach all members of the community, including educators, families, and scholars. To facilitate this, the district is distributing comprehensive training materials for educators, guiding them through deep breathing exercises, explaining the benefits of meditation, and offering methods to share these skills with students and fellow faculty members.

Meditation, as reported by the Mayo Clinic, offers a wide array of emotional and physical benefits, including gaining a new perspective on stressful situations, managing stress effectively, increasing self-awareness, and fostering imagination and creativity. Additionally, meditation can lead to improved sleep quality, lower resting heart rate, and lower resting blood pressure.

As part of her strategic plan for the district, Dr. Williams places a strong emphasis on mental health. In line with this commitment, NOLA-PS recently announced a groundbreaking partnership with Children's Hospital New Orleans' ThriveKids Student Wellness Program, which will provide access to mental and physical health services directly to students while they are at school. The program will bring 30 mental health and medical professionals to support the 71 campuses across the school system.

NOLA-PS is ensuring the wide dissemination of "The Mental Minute" campaign's messaging by making posters available to all schools within the district. The goal is to saturate classrooms, hallways, and common spaces with reminders to prioritize mental wellness and embrace moments of self-care. Additionally, students, faculty, and families are encouraged to take posters home or display them in other community spaces, contributing to the larger effort of promoting emotional well-being.

For those interested in obtaining the Mental Minute posters or fliers, NOLA-PS encourages reaching out to for information on where to pick them up.

NOLA Public Schools is taking bold strides to create a healthier and more resilient community in New Orleans. By equipping scholars, families, and faculty with essential tools for managing stress and fostering emotional well-being, "The Mental Minute" campaign represents a significant step forward in prioritizing mental health within our Parish.


About NOLA Public Schools: NOLA Public Schools is the public school district for Orleans Parish. It includes the district's administration and elected school board, known as the Orleans Parish School Board. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 67 public schools and is led by Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams, the first woman in the District's 181 years to serve as its permanent superintendent.

For more information, visit For updates, follow NOLA Public Schools on Facebook @NOLAPublicSchools, Instagram @nolaps and Twitter @NOLAPSchools.

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