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Community & Behavioral Health | Recovery | Social Change


Changing the Conversation

Lindsay Morrissey

Lindsay Morrissey
Lindsay is a Communications Assistant at the Center for Social Innovation. She is a public health professional with experience in health communication, women’s health research, and violence prevention. Lindsay has a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Science from Boston University and a B.A. in Psychology from Smith College.
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Recent Posts

Role of Relationships in Substance Use Recovery

Human connection is an integral part of social and emotional health and well-being. Think about the many connections, friendships, and relationships that shape your daily life. When you are in need of support, these relationships are key to providing guidance, happiness, and stability.

Social supports act as a crucial determinant for shaping health outcomes. Research suggests relationships are a significant factor in determining substance use and recovery outcomes. Studies of adolescents suggest that family support and involvement acts as a protective factor against substance use. A study of women experiencing homeless found that those who had less social support were more likely to engage in illicit substance use. A common affirmation in the recovery community— people, places, things—points to how important people can be in impacting one’s journey to recovery. Social networks, including family, friends, community and kinship ties, can act as risk or protective factors in determining an individuals’ path toward recovery.

5 Tips to Help People Experiencing Homelessness in the Heat


Most people know the impact of winter weather on people experiencing homelessness, but few realize the risk that summer heat places on those living on the streets. With temperatures rising and few places to escape from the heat, experiencing homelessness in the summer months is not only uncomfortable, but can be an extreme health hazard. Asphalt and concrete heats from the suns rays, posing a danger to those who may have no other option but to make a home on the street. Hot summer temperatures increase the risk of dehydration, sunburn, and disorientation. Data suggest that heat-related illness is more likely to impact individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and that “very poor, and socially isolated individuals are disproportionally affected by heat waves.

A Home in My Heart: Lessons Learned from my Father’s Experience of Homelessness

A day didn’t go by without my wondering about his whereabouts. Certain days were always more of a cause for concern; bitter cold winter nights, scorching hot summer days, and holidays—especially Christmas and Father’s Day. “I wonder where he will sleep tonight? Will he have enough to eat?” These were my perpetual thoughts as a child with a father experiencing homelessness.

Throughout most of my adolescent life, my father lived on the streets, facing complex mental health and substance use issues. These issues cycled him in and out of recovery housing and street living. My father’s separation from my mother, along with his severe mental health and substance use issues, complicated our relationship. After about 10 years on the streets and a traumatic brain injury, he now safely resides in an assisted living facility.

ACEs on the Brain: Learning about My Trauma

After learning about the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study while in graduate school, I experienced an epiphany. As a public health student, not only was it a revelation to learn about such a revolutionary study in the field of trauma, but also a personal moment of clarity. Finally, for the first time in my life, I felt as if all the previous adverse experiences I had endured were universal, normalized, categorized, understood—and I wasn’t alone.