Promoting Wellness and Belonging in Community Housing

Story8.OCH-CAMH Building Strong


Partners in housing, health services, and community services convened a forum to build a common understanding of the role and impact of belonging and place-based collaborative approaches in supporting the well-being of communities and individuals living with mental health and addiction challenges. They saw an opportunity to improve or create connections across roles and sectors and generate ideas for improvement.


We asked the planning team questions to clarify their goals for the graphic recording process and storyboard, and explored options together. During the forum, we listened for patterns in the conversations, captured the essence of the ideas shared, and affirmed with participants that the summary was complete.

In the post-forum evaluation, 96% of participants agreed that the storyboard was helpful. Here’s some of what they said:

I am a visual learner and it helps to clarify key themes.”

They explained what was said from all of us.”

It helps the ideas stay in memory.”

Will be more helpful later.”

It helped placing ideas and concerns where they belonged.”

It fills in the gaps. A visual is always helpful.”

Sense of accomplishment and summary of discussion. She is skilled.”

Encapsulates the conversation beautifully.”

Graphics were excellent. Some people are visual learners and these were most helpful.”

It gave a visual presentation of ideas in a unifying way. It gave voice to what was being discussed in a visual way that was a continual reminder of what ideas had been discussed throughout the afternoon.”

During our first consultation, Jennifer drafted great key questions around the intentions and goals of the event, asked how she could best contribute to these goals, and created clarity around ensuring the visuals hold meaning for those in attendance.  She contributed greatly to our planning meetings leading up to the event and was extremely organized and clear in her communications.  The storyboard itself was beautifully graphed and was applauded loudly, indicating that it validated participants’ contributions to the forum discussions.   Jennifer was a pleasure to work with!

Meghann Darroch, Regional Implementation Coordinator, Provincial System Support Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Living Tapestries captured a diverse set of views and lived experiences in a visual display that was easy to understand and accessible by a diversity of participants. As we move forward with our efforts to better serve some of our most vulnerable tenants and communities, it will serve us as a touchstone: reminding us of how we built a shared understanding of where we were and a vision of where we wanted to go.

Brian Gilligan, Vice President, Community Development, Ottawa Community Housing

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