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Equipo 2022

It is an ongoing battle for communities, states, and countries to meet the health-related needs of their residents. Access and wealth are just two of the factors that go into determining health outcomes [1]. In many states, including Virginia, the trend shows that rural communities are seeing worse health outcomes than their urban neighbor.  Alongside government initiatives, local groups and nonprofits are having to step up to address issues of community health. One of those groups is a small organization called Health Equity and Access in Rural Regions, HEARR, that works out of Scottsville, VA into the surrounding area, about 10 miles in each direction. Since Scottsville lies at the bottom of Albemarle County, HEARR works in the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Nelson, and Buckingham. HEARR works to address gaps in health access and equity through education and advocacy. Among the many health issues that are present in the region, there are gaps in mental health resources and access. Mindfulness could be one tool for the region to combat mental health issues. The benefits of mindfulness can be substantial, especially when done habitually. Some of the benefits include stress reduction, community connection, and overall well-being. --Maya Ballasa

This project was submitted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for PLAN 6090: Practicum in the Spring of 2021 semester of the Master of Urban and Environmental Planning program at the University of Virginia.

Mindfulness for Mental Health and
Collaborative Processes

The goals of this project are to offer a series of mindfulness meditations as a mental health resource for all ages, highlight and provoke the use of public space, and explore the benefits of mindfulness as a tool for community engagement and collaboration. Since children’s issues, isolation, and aging are all key health issues that HEARR targets, mindfulness meditations will be applicable to all age groups. These goals will be explored in the scope and time range of this project. 


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