Cranston’s new Health Equity Zone (HEZ) is holding a Speak Out event, where people living in Arlington, Stadium, and Laurel Hill can tell people working for the HEZ about what would improve their health and well-being, and what threatens it or makes it impossible. If you live there, please come–what you say will shape and guide what the HEZ supports and provides using money from the RI Department of Health! (There’s an explanation at that link above of what the Health Equity Zones are supposed to do.)
I’ll be there with the Climate Anxiety Counseling booth, talking with people about their mental health needs, their knowledge about climate change, and whether those things ever intersect for them. If you talk with me, I’ll ask permission to share our conversation here and also with people working for the HEZ. Here are some of the things I might ask:
- How does the environment affect your health?
- How have you noticed your health change while you’ve been living here?
- How have you noticed the climate, weather patterns, or seasonal patterns change while you’ve been living here?
- What do you do when you feel stressed or angry or anxious? Who do you talk with, if anybody?
- Here are some of the ways that climate change affects this part of the world; are those among the things that stress you out?
- Who’s responsible for your well-being and whose well-being are you responsible for?
There will be lots of other people listening at the Speak Out, too–some other things they’ll be asking about include food, housing, transportation, education and affordability. Spanish and Khmer interpretation, childcare and activities for kids, and food will all be on offer.
The Cranston Health Equity Zone Speak Out is November 23rd, 11am-2pm, at Arlington Elementary School, 155 Princess Ave, Cranston, RI. Please come if you’re a resident, and share if you’re not!
[IMAGE: A sketch of the Climate Anxiety Counseling Booth setup, with annotations and some additions like extra stools for people to sit on, signage in English/Spanish/Khmer, and provision for a group conversation.]