Episode 14: July 2, 2019

Tyler Norris: How to Build Healthy Communities & Grow Healthy People

Tyler Norris is dedicated to maximizing human flourishing by building healthy communities that meet our whole-person care needs and the vital conditions for well-being.

Episode 14: July 2, 2019

Tyler Norris: How to Build Healthy Communities & Grow Healthy People

Tyler Norris is dedicated to maximizing human flourishing by building healthy communities that meet our whole-person care needs and the vital conditions for well-being.

Episode Overview

Our guest on this episode is a highly accomplished leader in the health and well-being space. Tyler Norris is a social entrepreneur, a trusted advisor, and a community healer. He’s CEO of Well Being Trust,  an independent, national foundation dedicated to advancing mental, societal, and spiritual well-being in the United States. All of Tyler’s work has centered on three important themes. First, building healthy communities so that healthy people can flourish and reach their full potential. Second, supporting community collaborations that revitalize democracy, drive equitable wealth, and effectively address complex population health. And third, advancing both public and private sector policies that generate total wealth, which is much more than money. 

Listen on to find out how Tyler is working to advance policy that will pay for whole-person care, and how he’s gained traction in the healthcare industry. We’ll talk about why healthy communities grow healthy people, plus what it means to be a healthy community. We’ll learn about the many vital conditions for wellness, including living wages, lifelong learning, and civic duty. Find out how radio DJs are encouraging people to talk openly about their mental health, and finally, learn how Tyler’s early struggles, getting into trouble as a teenager led to his passion for community building. 

What we cover: 

  • The causes and possible solutions to the diseases and deaths of despair 
  • Integrated whole person care — spirit, mind, and body 
  • Turning the Mental Health Parity Act from law into practice 
  • Creating gardens for human flourishing 
  • The vital conditions for wellbeing, including living wage jobs, affordable housing, transportation, lifelong learning, civic muscle
  • Why Omaha, Nebraska, is a shining example of healthy communities driving change by creating trust, reciprocity, and cohesion in their healthcare 
  • The impact of early childhood on our adult wellbeing 
  • Why Tyler believes we have a fundamental social justice and equity challenges facing the U.S. 
  • The importance of teaching social emotional learning skills alongside S.T.E.M. skills 
  • How to make it okay to talk about what we’re feeling 
  • The difference between wellness, wellbeing, and health 

Well-being is multi-faceted, requiring a set of vital conditions in the community, integrative whole-person care, and a collection of wellness practices for your mind, body, spirit, and relationships. At the root of our well-being, Tyler describes four key aspects: sense of purpose, belonging, awe, and generosity. While focusing on improving any of these areas will increase our overall health and well-being, at the end of the day, we need a healthy group, community, and greater society to help us grow into the healthiest, happiest humans we can be. 

Social Wellness Challenge

Take time to turn to one another!

Each of us is better when we have someone that listens to us and we know we’re being seen and we’re being heard, and we be there to do that for another person. We need to live in a society that actually values everybody having someone to turn to. 

Think about the people in your life who want to be able to turn to you. Ask yourself how you can make it safe for them to be able to turn to you. Or conversely, if you’re struggling and holding something in close, who can you turn to with your open heart to share what’s going on for you? 


This Week’s Guest

Tyler Norris

Tyler Norris is CEO of Well Being Trust, an independent organization whose mission is to advance the mental, social and spiritual health of the United States. Over the past three decades, Tyler has advanced health initiatives in hundreds of communities in the US and around the world. Tyler is known for his achievements as a social entrepreneur, animateur, and trusted advisor to philanthropies, health systems, government agencies, and collaborative partnerships that are working to improve the health of people and places.

Before becoming the first chief executive of Well Being Trust, Tyler served as the vice president of Total Health at Kaiser Permanente. Before that, he served as the founding president and CEO of Community Initiatives, a leading health consultancy, and as founding board chair of IP3, the social enterprise that gave birth to Community Commons, a GIS data mapping platform.

We can turn to one another, we can make it safe in the environments we’re in right now, and we can make sure that we’re cultivating purpose and belonging, and opportunities for awe and wonder and for people to give back in meaningful ways. Because frankly, I think we know that when we find ourselves in a place of empathy and generosity, we feel our connection most deeply. We are part of one human family and we’re reminded that whatever may divide us, that which connects us is greater still.

Tyler Norris

Chief Executive, Well Being Trust

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