At Wellville, we believe that the most valuable voices to tell our story – to show the work that we do with the five Wellville communities – are the community members themselves. That’s the inspiration behind Wellville Stories, a new video series on the just-launched Wellville YouTube channel.
These video stories are just the start. Over the next few years, Wellville will add our voice(s) to the in-progress narrative change around what it takes to build healthy, thriving communities across the US.
The Transformative Potential of Wellville Stories
Our ability to get the results we want is influenced by how we see the world and our place in it. These beliefs tell us who we are, what we value, how things work, and what’s possible – or impossible. They show up in our actions, our relationships and the culture, institutions and systems that govern our lives. They are deeply ingrained but they can be changed. At the heart of these beliefs are stories, which, together with our values, make up an overall narrative.
Changing the narrative
The old, fading narrative victim-blames us for ill health by focusing on individual behavior. “Track your steps so you move more,” say device developers. “Quit smoking,” say nicotine patch providers. “Eat healthier,” say public health departments. This old narrative fails us because it does not acknowledge the policies and systems that make such behavior change hard, if not impossible, for so many of us. How can I walk more if my neighborhood lacks sidewalks? How can I buy nicotine patches if I can’t afford them and my insurance doesn’t cover them? How can I eat healthier if the nearest full-service grocery is two bus rides away?
Our new narrative shines a light these and other social influencers of health, and especially issues of equity. Wellville stories will give voice to the inspirational work our partners in the Wellville 5 are doing to overcome short-term thinking and systemic barriers that stand in the way of their community’s health and wellbeing. We hope you’ll be as awed by them as we are.