A socially connected community is a place where everyone feels like they belong.
It’s a place where people know their neighbors and feel motivated to get involved, build relationships, and contribute to the creation of strong social networks. It’s a place where spaces exist for people to gather with friends and neighbors. And, it’s a place where all planning and strategic initiatives take social connectedness into account (PlanH 2017). Social and place connectedness is a priority of the 2016 Community Health Improvement Plan.
Connection & Belonging: Voices of Parents in Recovery Report
In 2018, the Winnebago County Community Health Survey displayed that people with mental health and substance use disorders experienced lower levels of social support than adults without these challenges. This led to the 2021 Report on Connection & Belonging: Voices of People in Recovery, which was shared with the community. The listening sessions were held with members of the recovery community to learn how connection, belonging, and support impact the recovery journey. From these sessions, participants defined social connectedness as the presence of strong relationships, a sense of belonging, and meaningful contribution.
The newest report, Connection & Belonging: Voices of Parents in Recovery, reinforces, expands upon, and brings forth additional layers parents in recovery face. This report was originally intended to look at what connects parents in recovery and what promotes their sense of belonging. Throughout the listening sessions, it became apparent the gaps in services and supports in the community - for both themselves and their children - were responsible for a significant level of this isolation and needed to be addressed.
Read the Connection & Belonging: Voices of Parents in Recovery Report here.
(Click here to download a print file)
Connection & Belonging: People in Recovery Report
Social connectedness emerged as a priority through the Winnebago County Community Health Assessment when residents shared their feelings of being disconnected, isolated, and not supported. Since that time, efforts have been made to better understand the role that social and emotional support has on overall health and wellbeing of our community. Community Health Survey findings demonstrate that people with mental health challenges and substance use disorders experience lower levels of social support than adults without these challenges in Winnebago County.
Listening sessions were held with members of the recovery community to learn how connection, belonging, and support impacts the recovery process. This report shares key themes from the listening sessions along with actions our community can take to strengthen social connection, improve support for people with substance use disorder and people in recovery, and how our community can be more recovery friendly.
Read the Connection & Belonging: People in Recovery Report here.
Additional Reports and Resources: