At the Nova Institute for Health, we’re more than just a think tank, and we don’t just conduct research—we put ideas into action and bring together thought leaders across disciplines to break down the silos that have impeded progress. We look at the whole picture, the entire lived experience that influences health, as we connect the dots and call on the creativity of people of all backgrounds and disciplines.
We support a network of Scholars and Fellows that works across disciplines to investigate critical questions, spark fresh thinking and new ideas, and discover cutting-edge solutions. These talented individuals pursue bold ideas to transform how we understand and promote health.
We facilitate innovative forums to tackle the "sticky" issues of our times with fresh, collaborative thinking. Our forums and events facilitate the exchange of ideas, connect the dots across disciplines, advance science, and inspire creativity and imagination.
We explore, develop, and test new models and approaches for health and healing. These include scalable, replicable demonstration projects that are based on rigorous research and have real-life impact.
We recognize the importance of getting science and evidence-based information to many different audiences in understandable and engaging formats. We work to ensure our innovative research and ideas reach national and global audiences and can inspire change through better approaches, partnerships, and policies.
Our recent, unprecedented times have laid bare significant threats to people, places, and our planet—and fragmented approaches to find solutions fail to recognize the connections among them. For too long, we’ve ignored the many reasons why people and communities either suffer or thrive.
Bold new approaches are urgently needed to overcome this mounting crisis. It’s time to fundamentally shift how we think about health and well-being at all scales, from the individual to the local to the global.
We generate bold ideas, nurture creativity, and support research and novel projects that make quantum leaps forward and disrupt the status quo. We are a catalyst for change and create ideas and approaches that can endure and influence society.
We don’t just do good work that sits on a bookshelf or a website, we communicate that work by disseminating research and evidence-based recommendations to key audiences poised to improve health policy and practices.
We bring together individuals and partners from multiple disciplines and sectors to exchange ideas, research, and clinical findings to generate new insights and spark collaborations. We build integrative knowledge and community through many means, such as virtual and in-person meetings, forums, online platforms, and exhibits.
We support networks, as well as individuals and organizations. We nurture and provide significant resources to our community of thought leaders that they won’t get anywhere else and create a safe, respectful, and joyous environment to spark creative thinking.
Healing is facilitated through safety, persistence, and trust.
Resources support us as we heal. They include reframing, responsibility, and positivity. “Making connections enabled participants to acquire and refine resources and skills that were essential in their healing journey. People also brought their own personal strengths to the journey.”
“Connection to others was an essential part of all the healing journeys.” Humans are social creatures, and even the most introverted of us need close relationships. Friends and family add meaning and value to life and help support us, in good times and bad.
When we experience relational trauma, relationships can feel scary, but reestablishing safety and trust in relationships is where the healing happens. (To be clear, we do not mean reestablishing safety and trust with abusers, but rather finding other healing relationships.)
“When safety and trust had been established, people were able to connect with helpers. The nature of the behaviours of helpers that fostered healing ranged from small acts of kindness to unconditional love.”
Healing probably means different things to different people, but one definition that emerged from the study is: “The re-establishment of a sense of integrity and wholeness.”
Healing was an emergent property that resulted from each individuals’ complex healing journey, a result of bridged connections between resources and relationships. “…they gradually found relief from suffering and began to exhibit emergent characteristics: a sense of hope, self-acceptance, and a desire to help others—the immediate precursors to healing.”
In varying degrees, “they were able to transcend their suffering and in some sense to flourish.”
Suffering is the ongoing pain from wounding.
There is debate about whether or not one actually needs to experience suffering on the path to healing.
Wounding happens when we experience physical or emotional harm. It can stem from chronic illness or by physical or psychological trauma for which we do not have the tools to cope, or a combination of those factors.
“The degree and quality of suffering experienced by each individual is framed by contextual factors that include personal characteristics, timing of their initial or ongoing wounding in the developmental life cycle and prior and current relationships.”
Characteristics: How predisposed someone may be to wounding/how many tools and resources someone may have to deal with trauma/illness.
Lifestages: Developmental timing plays an important role in the impact of trauma — young children often do not have the same resources as older adults.
Relationships: Relationships can provide solace and support for those suffering, while lack of healthy relationships can prolong suffering.