Self-Healing Communities

A Transformational Process Model for Improving Intergenerational Health

This resource article from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation inspires new ways of thinking about responding to social problems.

“Health and social problems occur in the context of family, community and culture. In the past three decades, our understanding of the ways that we can or cannot work together to solve health and social problems has changed (Ostrom, 2002). We have learned about the power of networks to carry information, connect like-minded people and provide a flexible yet durable infrastructure for social movements. The scientific framework for solving problems in our world has been also transformed by chaos, quantum and relativity theories. When combined, these recent discoveries call for new modes of thinking and action that transcend traditional linear and categorical thinking about prevention of our nation’s most troublesome health and social problems .“ (see page 9)

“Rather than restructuring decision-making groups, programs, service locations or evaluation dashboards, we need to engage the public, inspire innovation, support peer helping, and ease the daily stress burden of parents so they can better protect and nurture the next generation. This means that we have to change the way we think about social problems and solutions… Communities can improve the relational experience of everyday life by changing the patterns and purposes of social interaction among residents. At the heart of GCC is the connection between the number and kinds of relationships people develop and their ability to successfully address their problems. As neighborhoods are able to make changes, even small ones, there is an infusion of self- and collective-efficacy, optimism and excitement fueled by hope .” (see page 11)