Basic Needs for Health & Safety as a Vital Condition


Physical and mental well-being starts with access to fresh air and water, nutritious food, and the security of a stable home. People also need healthy relationships - with freedom to express gender and sexuality - and a life free from violence, injury, and toxic stress. Access to routine and critical health care is also an important factor to maintaining health and well-being.

The ability for many American's to have their Basic Needs for Health & Safety met has been severely compromised during the COVID-19 pandemic and crisis. Half of the U.S. workforce is facing layoffs, and as a result, things like paying monthly rent and buying groceries have become more difficult for families. Lack of basic needs has led to higher levels of domestic violence, toxic stress, mental health problems, and other poor health outcomes. The loss of so many jobs has decreased access to healthcare, including mental health services, and has put people at risk for financially crippling medical bills. Community support systems have risen to meet some needs, but new ideas and better public policies are essential for the United States to recover and prosper moving forward.


Thriving Together: A Springboard for Equitable Recovery & Resilience in Communities Across America

This new report is a joint project of the CDC Foundation and Well Being Trust, coordinated with Community Initiatives and ReThink Health. The report acknowledges that we are now struggling and suffering through profound losses and ghastly experiences of systemic racism. Our resilience and humanity are being tested, yet we have the power to change course together. Communities across the country have an immense reservoir of energy, courage, and imagination. Our best hope for changing course is to organize local and national action around a single, unifying, measurable expectation: All people and places thriving—no exceptions. The report leverages the Vital Conditions for Well-Being framework to provide a "springboard" for communities in recovery and resilience that is imperative to this moment in time.

Find the full library of resources and tools coming out of collaborative work to develop Thriving Together in the library linked below, and scroll on for more resources to improve basic needs for health and safety in your community. 



Opportunities to Improve Basic Needs for Health & Safety

Some of the most significant opportunities are

  • Expanding access to healthcare and preventive services
  • Improving support systems
  • Fostering safer, more just communities


Stories for Inspiration

Explore the stories below to read interesting, engaging content about what is happening at the state, national, and local level to improve basic needs for health and safety.


Texas Clinics Busting Traditional Silos Of Mental And Physical Health Care
Story - Written
Brought to you by Community Commons
Screen grab of Coronavirus Response: “I Don’t Have the Words...I’ll Just Start Crying”
Coronavirus Response: “I Don’t Have the Words...I’ll Just Start Crying”
Resource - Blog
Brought to you by Share Our Strength
Screen grab of The Doctor-Botanist Couple Healing a Community in the Rural South
The Doctor-Botanist Couple Healing a Community in the Rural South
Story - Written
Brought to you by Civil Eats
Screen grab of Coronavirus Response: “First Responders for Education”
Coronavirus Response: “First Responders for Education”
Resource - Blog
Brought to you by Share Our Strength
Screen shot of the headline of the story
Food Banks Get The Love, But SNAP Does More To Fight Hunger
Story - Written
Brought to you by NPR
Screen grab of On the Border, Out of the Shadows
On the Border, Out of the Shadows
Story - Written
Brought to you by U.S. News
The Time to Reinvent our Social Institutions is Now
Story - Written
Brought to you by Medium
Published on 06/30/2020
Photo of a city skyline behind a body of water
WIN Pacesetter Story: Omaha, Nebraska
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Screen shot of the headline of the story
Dollars Alone Can’t Measure the Value of Mental Health Investments
Story - Written
Brought to you by Avivar Capital
Photo of green plants being grown indoors, under lamps
Menasha Joint School District has a Million Reasons to Grow
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons


Data Resources

Explore the data tools below to find data and related resources specifically relevant to basic needs for health and safety.


Home page of CARES Vulnerable Populations Footprint tool
SparkMap Vulnerable Populations Footprint
Tool - Data/mapping Tool
Brought to you by CARES
Homepage of Nebraska Behavioral Health Dashboard
Nebraska Behavioral Health Workforce Dashboard
Tool
Brought to you by Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska
Screen shot of the homepage
PLACES: Local Data for Better Health
Dataset
Brought to you by CDC
Home page of the KIDS COUNT website
KIDS COUNT Data Center
Tool - Data/mapping Tool
Brought to you by Annie E. Casey Foundation
Home page for Healthy Minds Network Data portal
Healthy Minds Network Data
Tool - Data/mapping Tool
Brought to you by Healthy Minds Network


Policy Resources

Explore the resources below that outline one or more policies that specifically seek to improve basic needs for health and safety.


Primary Care: A Gateway to Mental Health Care
Primary Care: A Gateway to Mental Health Care
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Screen shot of the front cover of the report
Tackling America’s Mental Health and Addiction Crisis Through Primary Care Integration
Resource - Report
Brought to you by Bipartisan Policy Center Inc.
Website for Healing the Nation
Healing the Nation: Advancing Mental Health and Addiction Policy
Resource - Website/webpage
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Screenshot of HI-5 Pricing Strategies for Alcohol Products
HI-5: Pricing Strategies for Alcohol Products
Resource - Policy Brief
Brought to you by AD for Policy and Strategy
First page of The Role of Business in Supporting Basic Needs for Health and Safety: Nutritious Food
The Role of Business in Supporting Basic Needs for Health and Safety: Healthy Food
Resource - Policy Brief
Brought to you by WIN Network
Published on 02/25/2021
First page of The Role of Business in Supporting Basic Needs for Health and Safety: Safety
The Role of Business in Supporting Basic Needs for Health and Safety: Safety
Resource - Policy Brief
Brought to you by WIN Network
Published on 02/25/2021
Screen grab of SAHF Mental and Behavioral Health Profiles
SAHF Mental and Behavioral Health Profiles
Resource
Brought to you by SAHF
Screenshot of HI-5: Tobacco Control Interventions
HI-5: Tobacco Control Interventions
Resource - Policy Brief
Brought to you by AD for Policy and Strategy
HI-5 School-Based Programs to Increase
HI-5: School-Based Programs to Increase Physical Activity
Resource - Policy Brief
Brought to you by AD for Policy and Strategy
HI-5 Access to Clean Syringes
HI-5: Access to Clean Syringes
Resource - Policy Brief
Brought to you by AD for Policy and Strategy
HI-5 Water Fluoridation
HI-5: Water Fluoridation
Resource - Policy Brief
Brought to you by AD for Policy and Strategy


Action & Dialogue Guides

Explore below to find replicable, actionable content that is easily adaptable as a strategy to improve basic needs for health and safety, as well as guides and tools for in-person and virtual dialogues. 


Cover of Communities WIN
Communities WIN: A Community Guide for Dialogue and Action
Tool - Toolkit/toolbox
Brought to you by Community Commons
Published on 01/22/2020
Cover page of Well Being Trust Toolbox
Well Being Trust Toolbox
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Staff Pick!
Shared Stewardship in Health Care
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by Well Being Trust
Screen shot of With Malice Toward None
With Malice Toward None
Resource - Website/webpage
Advancing Racial Justice in Organizations
Advancing Racial Justice in Organizations
Tool - Workshop/training
Brought to you by IISC
Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work
Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work
Tool - Workshop/training
Brought to you by IISC
caregiver touching arm of elderly man holding a ball
Bringing the Vital Conditions to Life: Basic Needs for Health and Safety
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Published on 01/30/2020
A Guide to Campus Mental Health Action Planning
A Guide to Campus Mental Health Action Planning
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by Education Development Center Inc.
Illustrations of women, parents, families, and queer people representing the many aspects of reproductive justice
Taking Action for Reproductive Justice: Our Favorite Tools, Resources, and Data
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
A collage of four photos of community members engaging in dialogue.
Dialogue as a Process for Community Change
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons


About the Vital Conditions

Basic Needs for Health and Safety is one of seven interrelated “vital conditions” that comprise the Vital Conditions for Community Health and Well-being framework. The framework helps us understand the systems that produce equitable well-being for all, and opportunities to shift those systems and drive improvement. Learn more about the Vital Conditions framework.


Blue banner with a photo of Bobby Milstein and titles that read
Commons Good Bobby Milstein, PhD, MPH
Story - Audio
Brought to you by Community Commons
Published on 02/17/2020
A mural of a person with different patterns in their hair. Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash.
Bringing the Vital Conditions to Life through People, Place, and Possibility
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons