Our inciteful guest blog today comes from Megan Haas, Founder of Kinnected.
As a collective society, we are not only fighting off a deadly disease but also adjusting to a new way of living, acknowledging that many of our routine activities will now be taking place in an evolving and often, remote world.
Engaging with the arts is one of the best tools of connection in this remote time. The Kinnected Story Project is a way to bring creativity and health together as a tool for collaboration and transformation.
We've all experienced health events in our lives—some temporary and some long-lasting. More than anyone, elders are in a position to share these stories. Collectively, elders possess a wealth of experience with health conditions, along with their social, emotional, and physical impacts.
- Did an illness or a health journey coincide with an important time in your life history?
- Have you lived with a chronic condition?
- What would you tell a younger person with a similar condition - or your younger self?
- Has a physical, emotional/mental, or social health concern or condition (or investigation) defined your life to some extent?
- Do you have any health experiences or insights you want to share to benefit others? - - What makes you unique health-wise?
- What's the most significant health challenge you've ever faced?
Many of our health questions and needs can be met by the hard-won resources and journeys of other people around the world. If you have a short or long term social, emotional, or physical health condition, the chances are that someone else around the world has experienced it already or might be currently living with it long-term.
Imagine being newly diagnosed with a health condition, perhaps one with long-term implications, like diabetes or lupus. Feelings of fear and uncertainty are common in these situations. How will I cope? What does this mean for my life, going forward? Imagine a new widow seeking silent collaboration and witness to their grief. Imagine a person in midlife experiencing anxiety or depression. The proliferation of health support groups demonstrates that hearing the stories of people who have experienced the same condition can be immensely helpful. From coping strategies, to alternative solutions or home remedies, to just plain, basic encouragement and how you got through, elders can hand down important knowledge and narratives that offer what we often need most: the example of another person who has experienced a similar health challenge and a way to feel connected.
Now, in an effort to preserve this knowledge, Kinnected.org is seeking these narratives.
Kinnected is an equitable, global health platform, based in Seattle, WA, that is building a culture of health through empowerment, building community, revitalizing human emotional connection, and working to abate feelings of loneliness and disconnection. Kinnected seeks to preserve stories about health experiences that might otherwise be lost. According to founder Megan Haas, who has been planning and developing the site for fifteen years, “the stories and health experiences of our elders can spark a cultural shift towards collaborative healing. They are resources that are incredibly valuable to others and might speak to the conditions and questions of people of all ages all around the world.”
Kinnected is entirely self-funded by the founder in an effort to be entirely transparent, and to use technology humanely and in the spirit of trust and social excellence.
Does an elder in your care home have a health experience or transformation to share? Encourage them to submit their story to Kinnected.
Health stories can be submitted here: https://kinnected.org/submission-guidelines
To see the Kinnected story section go here: https://kinnected.org/stories
Want to learn more about Kinnected’s overall mission? https://wp.kinnected.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/green-meadow-bulletin-interview-megan-haas.pdf