Our blog title this week is also the title from one of the many recent headlining articles about Compassionate Communities. This amazing International Movement is coming to the USA and we're ready!
Take a look at this story, hot off the press this month, Compassion is the Best Medicine. Frome, England - Greater Mankato's Global Partner Model City - is causing excitement as the compassionate community approach there has seen emergency hospital admissions fall by 17%, with a 21% reduction in costs. No other interventions on record have reduced emergency admissions across a population.
To summarize what's happening in Frome (soon to be duplicated in Greater Mankato) here are the key elements of a Compassionate Community:
- the mapping of all existing community resources and the subsequent compilation of a service directory;
- the formation of a network of willing volunteers, known as Community Connectors, offering support to those in need and guiding them to appropriate sources of help identified in the service directory;
- the formation of groups requested by members of the community to meet newly identified needs;
- and the creation of one-to-one support relationships through liaison with Health Connectors.
The vision of The Greater Mankato Compassionate Community movement is to build a culture of health by promoting conversations, compassion and social actions that address death, dying, loss and care as everyone’s responsibility. Never doubt the power of community and social connections. As they say in the UK, "Cheers!" —Mary Ann