The "Partner" Objective
The primary objective for “Partner” is to:
Engage with the community to assess needs and develop, implement, and maintain long-term interventions and resilience mechanisms.
Understanding this Objective
When community members are confronted with chronic environmental contamination (CEC) and are concerned about its potential psychosocial consequences, they should be empowered to collaborate in intervention efforts and inform environmental risk management decisions.
Public health professionals can support community resilience to stress and other hardships by working together with community leaders and groups to anticipate and address community members’ practical, informational, emotional, and social needs. Building resilience requires taking into account health disparities and incorporating health equity aims into long-term interventions.
Community resilience is the ability to withstand and maintain community integrity in the face of stressors as well as the ability to creatively respond and reorganize. While many frameworks and tools for community resilience were designed for acute crises, their focus on community engagement, collaborative problem solving, and strong social networks often make them relevant to CEC.
Community members working together to respond to and recover from emergencies
Merging of other community efforts that build social, economic, and health well-being
Diverse network of government and nongovernmental organizations in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disaster
Collaboration and engagement with the community for problem-solving
Self-sufficient community through neighbor-to-neighbor connections and strong social networks
Figure adapted from www.laresilience.orgexternal icon and from Uscher-Pines, Chandra, & Acosta (2013)
The “Partner” objective has two secondary objectives:
- Work with community leaders and build community groups.
- Provide informal outreach and support settings.
Engaging the Community
Enable community ownership of collaborative solutions and leverage existing strengths while listening to and responding to the community’s needs. Such empowerment efforts are vital because the community typically needs to sustain its own resilience-building activities after initial operations have subsided. In addition, community advocacy in the CEC context can facilitate recovery.