The UNCG Department of Counseling and Educational Development is partnering with Phillips Foundation to launch the Guilford County Healthy Relationships Initiative (HRI), a community-wide effort to improve relational health across Guilford County.

The initiative is currently in a research and development phase and will officially launch in February of 2017.

“Unhealthy relationships, particularly within the family context, threaten the stability of our society’s foundation,” said Elizabeth Phillips, executive director of Phillips Foundation. “With the integration of the HRI’s programming and ‘upstream’ interventions into the service platforms of our partner organizations, we plan to democratize best practices and resources from the clinic environment to the broader culture.”

The initiative’s goal is to enhance a positive community culture that values relationships and ultimately prevents trauma and dysfunction in the home.

“Launching the HRI will allow us to utilize and disperse effective tools and skills to ensure that families are safe and supportive places for children to develop into successful, contributing members of society,” said Dr. Christine Murray, associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Educational Development.

In addition to Murray and her colleagues, faculty members from the Department of Geography, the Department of Psychology and the Department of Library and Information Studies will provide support.

The HRI Steering Committee, which includes representatives from Phillips Foundation grantee organizations, governmental entities and other nonprofits, has developed a multi-year strategic plan that includes three components: community mobilization, educational programming and social marketing. Additional details about the initiative will be unveiled at the official launch event in February.

To stay informed about the HRI, follow its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/guilfordHRI. For more information about Counseling and Educational Development at UNCG, click here.