This manuscript presents the protocol and participatory planning process for implementing the Community Resilience Learning Collaborative and Research Network (C-LEARN) study. C-LEARN is designed to determine how to build a service program and individual client capacity to improve mental health-related quality of life among individuals at risk for depression, with exposure to social risk factors or concerns about environmental hazards in areas of Southern Louisiana at risk for events such as hurricanes and storms. The study uses a Community Partnered Participatory Research (CPPR) framework to incorporate community priorities into study design and implementation. The first phase of C-LEARN is assessment of community priorities, assets, and opportunities for building resilience through key informant interviews and community agency outreach. Findings from this phase will inform the implementation of a two-level (program-level and individual client level) randomized study in up to four South Louisiana communities. Within communities, health and social-community service programs will be randomized to Community Engagement and Planning (CEP) for multi-sector coalition support or Technical Assistance (TA) for individual program support to implement evidence-based and community-prioritized intervention toolkits, including an expanded version of depression collaborative care and resources (referrals, manuals) to address social risk factors such as financial or housing instability and for a community resilience approach to disaster preparedness and response.