The Community Health Workers training Project (CHWTP) focuses on communities that are dependent on Gulf of Mexico resources. Community Health Workers(CHW) will act as peer listeners, advisors, friends, and referral agents for individuals within their service areas. The CHW's role is to act as a bridge or navigator to help connect residents in need with professional health services. CHWs will be drawn from police, schools, civic groups, faith-based organizations, and similar community groups and will represent all dimensions of the social fabric in the affected communities, including the Gulf Coast's various cultural, ethnic, and age diversities.
CHWs will be trained in communication skills and educated regarding community attributes and dynamics, the personal impacts of disasters, and the health resources available throughout the affected areas. Trained CHWs do not provide medical advice or mental health therapy. They are not a substitute for professional care; rather, CHWs augment traditional health resources. Trained CHWs learn to identify potential clients and maintain regular contact with individuals who exhibit symptoms that may warrant possible referral to health professionals for physical, behavioral, and environmental health services.