SOCIAL/CULTURAL COHESION

Social cohesion is commonly referred to as the glue that holds society together. It is the “trusting network of relationships and shared values and norms of residents in a neighborhood” that allow members to achieve shared well-being. Cohesive societies are built on communities that protect people against risk, foster trust, and ultimately promote community health.1United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Studies show that community social cohesion can help improve family health, safety, and overall well-being while decreasing stress poverty, and even racism.2Oxford Bibliographies: Neighborhood Social Cohesion3Association of State and Territorial Health Officials Alternatively, poor social cohesion leads to poor childhood development, higher rates of chronic disease, and increased rates of mental health.4Vancouver Coastal Health


What It Means

At the heart of social cohesion and health equity is social inclusion. Communities with low social cohesion tend to have low involvement or access to civic engagement, economic opportunity, and social participation. This lack of opportunity can result in poor health outcomes for the members of that community. For instance, low social cohesion is often a factor in poor health outcomes for low income, elderly, and minority populations.1United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs By increasing social cohesion for these affected populations, increasing opportunities and resources that lead to better health outcomes can occur.

Why It Matters

Increase a social network and you increase a network of resilience. Socially cohesive communities are more equipped to handle extreme hardships than similar communities that have low social cohesion.2Center for American Progress High levels of community interaction and organization tend to decrease isolation among community members. This decreased isolation helps establish social networks that allow the exchange of social capital, resources, and aid during time of need. As a result, communities with high social cohesion can respond, adapt, and recover from adversity.

Join Us

Live Well Arizona is a continually evolving website and will grow with your input. Help us identify, lift up, and celebrate efforts that help Arizonans be healthier and live well.

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National Resources: The Big Picture

Look here for statistics, analysis strategies, resources and best practices from across the country.

Advocacy

  • Democracy Collaborative

  • Movement for Black Lives

Arts and Culture

  • Americans for the Arts

  • Artplace America

Collaborative Ventures

  • Project for Placemaking

  • Social Venture Partners

Mental Health

  • Mental Health America

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness

Arizona Resources: Local Spotlight

Looking to start, or engage in a conversation about Social/Cultural Cohesion and how you can contribute? Here are connectors, conveners, advocates and actors to bring to the table.

Advocacy

  • Equality Arizona

  • Valley Interfaith Project

Arts, Culture and Fun

  • Arizona Humane Society

  • Aliento

  • Arizona Commission on the Arts

  • Arizona Recreation Center for the Handicapped (ARCH)

  • C.A.L.L.E de Arizona

Collaborative Ventures

  • Arizona Council of Human Service Providers

  • Arizona Faith Network

  • Black Mesa Water Coalition

  • Social Venture Partners Arizona

  • Cultivate South Phoenix

Health and Social Services

  • Campesinos Sin Fronteras

  • Community Bridges, Inc.

  • IMPACT of Southern Arizona

  • Terros

Mental Health

  • Mental Health America of Arizona

  • Mindfulness First

  • NARBHA Institute

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness Arizona Chapter


#THISISHAPPENINGHERE:

KEY PROJECTS

Connect with Social/Cultural Cohesion efforts-in-progress, and the partners who are helping to make them happen:

AZ Artworker: An artist-to-artist professional development program which facilitates dialogue and knowledge-sharing between Arizona artists, their national and international artist peers, and residents of Arizona communities.

KDIF: A low power FM station serving the Central and South Phoenix area that is bilingual, multicultural, and grounded in the expressed needs, desires, and knowledge of the community.

Mesa Urban Garden: A community organization that provides fresh produce directly to the community and local food banks. Anyone can sponsor plots for communal or individual use.

Performance in the Borderlands: A presenting, public programming and education initiative dedicated to the understanding and promotion of cultural performance in the borderlands.

PSA Art Awakenings: A psycho-social rehabilitation program for adults and art therapy program for youth who are challenged by serious behavioral health issues and mental illnesses.

RAIL Mesa: A registered neighborhood group that advocates for increased citizen participation, responsible development of housing, transit options and the creation of quality jobs along Mesa’s Light Rail Corridor.

#THISNEEDSTOHAPPENHERE:

Signature Projects

Get a bird’s eye view of efforts from around the country that can be an inspiration and reference point for Arizona-based work:

Culture Project: A project dedicated to addressing critical human rights issues by creating and supporting artistic work that amplifies marginalized voices.

Typical or Troubled?: An evidence based program that works with school communities as a companion program with existing school safety and physical health programs across the nation to improve student mental health through early recognition, intervention, and treatment.

Year of Healthy Communities Event Submission

Add your event to the Year of Healthy Communities calendar.

If you have questions, please contact Emily Kepner (ekepner@vitalysthealth.org or 602-774-3446).
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Year of Healthy Communities Event Submission

Add your event to the Year of Healthy Communities calendar.

If you have questions, please contact Emily Kepner (ekepner@vitalysthealth.org or 602-774-3446).
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