The IIRP Graduate School announces the latest issue in the Presidential Paper Series. A Restorative Practices Strategy to Advance Community Health is written by Dr. Gina Baral Abrams, Associate Professor and Director of Research and Program Evaluation.
In this paper, the evolution of the community health field is traced, leading up to the recent U.S. Surgeon General’s report, Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation. The author suggests that, in addition to the work that has been done to identify key factors and dynamics, it is necessary to focus explicitly on how we strengthen relationships and community. Integrating principles from the social-ecological model, a new model is presented to describe how restorative practices can be used to advance community health goals.
Dr. Abrams writes: The Surgeon General’s recent report raised the alarm about the critical need to strengthen social connection across every level of society. I suggest that not only can restorative practices offer proven ways to help achieve this goal, but it can also help address other factors identified by the field of community health that are critical for creating the social conditions where individuals can flourish and communities can thrive. In addition to focusing on social connection, the strategies discussed in this paper include facilitating community engagement, fostering positive social norms, nurturing collaboration, addressing harm and healing, and increasing equity in systems and policy.
The paper describes specific restorative principles and processes for each factor of the model and specifically how they apply to and can be used to support the goals of community health, including reducing health disparities and promoting health equity.
A Restorative Practices Strategy to Community Health is available for download through our Presidential Paper Series and also at the IIRP Bookstore (store.iirp.edu).