WORKING TOGETHER FOR MENTAL HEALTH EQUITY

CORESZON stands for Community Resilience Network because our capacity-building approach brings people together for community wellbeing. 

Our growing trainer network shares knowledge and skills to strengthen individual and collective mental health.

Together, we’re working to improve mental health equity for disadvantaged children by strengthening one of the most powerful protective influences in their lives: the wellbeing of those responsible for their healthy, happy and productive development.

Moms, Dads and other caregivers in children’s lives who have the potential to buffer adversity are our most important partners.

GOOD TO KNOW

Community resilience is the ability of communities to recover from dramatic change, sustain adaptability and support new growth (Ungar, 2011).

It can be understood in different ways, depending on who you are, and where you are looking at it from. At CORESZON, we focus on the social ecological aspects of resilience by asking the following questions:

  • How much do community members value the social ties that connect them with each other and help them do what they need to do in order to get through difficult times? (social capital)
  • How well do community members utilize the places, services, material resources and networks in their environment that can help them navigate challenging times? (infrastructure)
  • How well do community members cooperate and negotiate with others to access or create the resources they need in order to cope and thrive? (cooperation)
  • How well are communities – as organizations, teams or neighborhoods – able to trust in and depend on external agencies and support, and how well do external agencies depend on and trust them to know what they need and self-govern? (interdependence)

How resilient we are in crises is much more than a question of individual behavior. The conditions we work, play, learn and work together directly impact our wellbeing. While no single individual can change adverse conditions alone, we believe that everyone has the potential to contribute.

This potential is determined by the feeling that

  • I can have a positive impact on my social and/or physical environment (self-efficacy)
  • My voice is heard when decisions are made that impact my family, my life and my health (sense of control)
  • The abilities and qualities that I have to offer are seen and valued by others (dignity)

These are all feelings that can only grow in relationships to others. In a resilient community, social ties can withstand adversity; by maintaining meaningful connections, community members are able to give each other a sense of control, self-efficacy and dignity.

Healthy child development is one of the main pillars for a happy, productive society with a sustainable future. Policies and services that promote healthy child development depend strongly on the capacity of caretakers to participate in their successful implementation and delivery.

Despite its vital importance, caretaker wellbeing is an often-neglected resource when it comes to promoting child and adolescent mental health.

Current findings in mental health, neuroscience and public health research emphasize the importance, efficacy and sustainability of approaches that focus on caretaker wellbeing and its many social determinants.

CORESZON addresses this need by placing caregiver mental health at front and center of our training and capacity-building activities.

CAREGIVER WELLBEING is vital to our society’s future. CORESZON offers special training models for Moms, Dads, and other important adults in children’s lives. In addition to skills for individual and collective wellbeing, our training approach raises awareness for the social determinants of mental health, and how working together well contributes to mental health equity.

COLLABORATION IS KEY

Preventing mental ill-health takes a whole-society approach that involves citizens in the creation and delivery of services. We bring professionals and non-professionals together to build capacity for community-driven care.

CORESZON is a cooperation-based project. This means that we work best when we work with others. We partner with humanitarian organizations, local NGOs and citizen-led initiatives to build capacity for community mental health. CORESZON is represented in Germany, Iraq and Kenya. Our team speaks Arabic, Dari, English, German and Kurdish.

We give partners tools to create their own, context-specific way of delivering our science-based prevention program. Partners share valuable knowledge with us about what it takes to integrate mental health promotion into their existing services. Our mutual learning creates value not only for beneficiaries in our respective settings, but also for our network as a whole.

OUR GOAL:
PREVENT ILL-HEALTH BY STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY CARE

CORESZON was founded at Germany’s largest clinic for child psychiatry at the University of Hamburg Medical Center. The families we work with have taught us valuable lessons about what it takes to prevent ill-health in childhood. Together with our growing network, we continue to learn, develop and share practical knowledge about what keeps us healthy.

THE MAIN TAKEAWAY: 

Mental health is about relationships. Relationships grow in proximity – where we work, play, live and learn together. The ideal climate for helpful relationships is one that explicitly values the many things we do to care for each other in our everyday lives. 

Investing in informal community care is vital to the prevention of ill-health. 

HIGHEST NEED, LOWEST COSTS: INFORMAL COMMUNITY CARE

Our goal is to promote appreciation for informal care and contribute to the development of truly community-driven mental health support. Our capacity-building program not only empowers community members to share knowledge and skills. They also share valuable insights with professional care providers.

Establishing integration and cooperation between different sectors and professions takes time. But together, we’re learning that it’s more than worthwhile to grow at the speed of trust.

OUR MOST IMPORTANT PARTNERS

At CORESZON, caregivers of disadvantaged children to not only learn our science-based method to care for family wellbeing, but can also become trainers and share it with others in their wider community. Our entire training program is free of cost for families who are struggling to make ends meet.

Under adverse conditions, a positive family climate and parental wellbeing are among the most important protective factors.

What does it take to maintain these when we’re burdened by poverty, discrimination or other stressors?

Caregivers who are dealing with this question on a daily basis have invaluable knowledge to contribute to our endeavor for equity in child mental health.

WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER

As the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us, we are much closer connected and more dependent on each other than we may have been aware of. Similar to navigating the pandemic, tackling inequality in mental health by reducing stigma, targeting social determinants of ill-health and building resilience takes a whole-society approach. 

The CORESZON Training Program is open for caregivers and professionals from diverse cultural, educational and economic backgrounds because we strongly believe that mental health equity is about collaborating across social dividesWhile parents of disadvantaged children contribute their lived expertise, others support our nonprofit endeavor by paying income-based training fees. 

WHAT DRIVES THE COMMUNITY RESILIENCE NETWORK?