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The new federal infrastructure package could be one of the nation's most consequential investments in equitable wellbeing — but only if we make it so. Read more in our latest article.

Examples of change in action
When systems are working towards centering on wellbeing, efforts can show up in a wide variety of ways. Explore some examples below.
  • Healthcare: Maxine (video)
  • Child welfare: Mitchell (written)
  • Juvenile justice: Marcus (video)
  • Mental health: In a sexual violence organization, Sue* had decided to participate in counseling sessions. However, she kept missing appointments. When she talked with her advocate, she insisted that she knew it was important to go to counseling and that she wanted to. A traditional response may have been to suspect that Sue was just saying what she thought the advocate wanted to hear or insist on educating Sue about the importance of showing up to counseling. However, this advocate asked, “what would make it more worth it to you to go to counseling?” Sue replied that it would make it more worth it to go to counseling if they took the painting down from the wall. There was a painting that was triggering the trauma she had experienced in the past. They removed the painting and Sue didn’t miss any more counseling appointments.

*Sue – fictional name

  • Program eligibility: At REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, organizational policies do not require people to terminate their abusive relationship as a condition of receiving support or services. In one instance, they worked with a woman who was six months pregnant and had a 9-month-old baby. She was leaving the abusive relationship for a second time, but was thinking of going back because she was fearful of raising two children alone. She worried that if she reconciled with the person using violence she would no longer be eligible for services, and lose all the practical and emotional resources offered through the program. REACH advocates supported her in making her own decision and provided services as long as she needed them. She did not have to worry about how her relationship decision was going to impact her immediate safety or cause her to be on the streets with two babies and no help.
  • Hiring and centering community: Julie’s Family Learning Program recognizes the power of lived experience and often hires staff directly from their own program community; currently 25% of the staff are former program participants. Staff credit this as a key element of trust building and ultimately program success, because staff can truly say, “I’ve walked in your shoes.” Staff also create opportunities for participants to experience mastery. As one staff person explained, “When people feel smart, something positive changes inside them and it opens up all types of possibilities. We emphasize there are multiple ways of being smart, we take a multiple intelligences approach…and support them [participants] to share their talents and knowledge with others.”

FULL FRAME INITIATIVE

The system is rigged, and the solution isn’t just to create more programs for people harmed by these unfair systems. The solution is to reimagine these systems to make our country fairer and more equitable for everyone — which means ensuring that the places where we work, live, play and pray tap into people’s drive for wellbeing, instead of undermining wellbeing for some and enabling it for others.

That’s what we do.

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