We Are the Medicine: Possibilities for Flourishing Through Difficult Times

Christina Bethell, PhD, MPH, MBA

About this Event

We are fortunate to live in a time when our best science is clear about the power to promote child and family flourishing, even amid difficult times. We can accomplish this through the promotion of authentic, mindful connection, family resilience and positive childhood experiences that provide a sense of safety, meaning, engagement and care.  Yet, there is a great level of need to improve the mental, emotional and relational health of our children and families during these difficult times.  With over 2 in 5 children with caregivers that report struggling to stay hopeful or find strengths to draw on when things were hard, we must lean into the capacity to maintain hope and meaning through adversity.

This session will present new research and approaches to promote child and family well-being using a positive approach to health that fosters self, family and community-led healing of the trauma and adversity concentrated in many of our families and communities today.  The opportunity is enormous to build on strengths, work together to identify priorities, and partner in flourishing. Mindsets that prioritize possibilities, foster a sense of mattering, and support mindfulness and relational skills-building are essential to shift the narrative from trauma and toxic stress to the possibilities for relational health and flourishing for all children and families.

About the Presenter

Christina Bethell

Christina Bethell, PhD, MPH, MBA

Dr. Bethell is a Professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she advances a new integrated Science of Thriving to promote early and lifelong health of children, youth, families and communities.  With roots in community health partnerships, systems change, financing reform, social epidemiology and whole child/family integrated health care, she is the founding director (1996) of the national Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI). Recognizing gaps in data to inform and drive change, she led to advance child and family centered measurement, data and IT based tools to enable family engagement in systems, policy and health care. She is the founding director of the National Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health (www.childhealthdata.org) and the Cycle of Engagement Well Visit Planner approach to preventive and developmental services for children and families . She shaped a widely endorsed national agenda to address childhood trauma and promote healing. She has been featured on National Public Radio, provided testimony to the US Congress, has published dozens of peer reviewed studies focused on informing policy, practice and culture change and has contributed to national efforts that promote relational health as the cornerstone of well-being for children, families and communities. Christina earned an MBA an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley and PhD in public policy from the University of Chicago. She teaches about mitigating adversity and promoting child well-being, facilitates Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and is an avid student of human potential and flourishing as a social change strategy.  She writes poetry, dances and believes that attuned connection with ourselves, life and others is the source of our creativity and joy.

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