(Chelsea, MI) – To foster and build community connections, optimism, resilience, and engagement, 5 Healthy Towns Foundation (5HF) and its partners are pleased to launch OneBigConnection.org (OBC) during National Mental Health Awareness Month, this May. OneBigConnection.org is a new virtual platform tool that anyone in our service area can use.

One Big Connection will go live with a soft launch on May 26th.  New information and features will be made available in the coming weeks and months as we receive user and partner feedback.

The purpose of OneBigConnection.org, is to create an online community where residents can share information and quickly find local resources. It is also a place to come together in Action Teams that address important issues for our community members, like isolation and youth mental health.

“This site, funded with Wellness Coalition money, belongs to the community,” says 5HF CEO Amy Heydlauff. “The rich resources you will find at OneBigConnection.org highlight the good people in our five towns, caring for each other. We hope that OBC will be a positive step to help individuals make healthy connections, find interesting and vital resources they trust, and reduce the discomfort surrounding mental health conversations.”

This free platform is a project sponsored by One Big Thing, a collaborative initiative launched in 2019 with Michigan Medicine/Family Medicine, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, Washtenaw County Community Mental Health, and the 5HF Community Wellness Coalitions, to promote positive mental health practices and decrease mental health crisis situations in our communities. According to Lori Kintz, 5HF’s Coalition Coordinator and OneBigConnection editor, “The platform is a work in progress. Every week new information and resources will be added until the site is so robust it becomes a regular part of our online routine.”

We are planning a free 30-minute demo of the site in June. Watch for updates on our FaceBook page.

The site includes:

  • Action Teams that are places to come together, post information and solve local challenges.
  • Facts and Figures will house current local and regional statistics and peer-reviewed articles to keep us informed. The information can also be used by area non-profits in grant applications or strategic planning.
  • A Resource Directory will allow local non-profit service providers to post their information on a variety of topics addressing vital conditions like mental health and outreach services, reliable transportation, health and safety services, and social supports. If you are a local provider or organization who wishes to be added to our directory, go to https://www.onebigconnection.org/submit for instructions on how to register.
  • Events will be a place where community organizations can promote upcoming events open to the community.
  • Community Pulse will feature articles, commentary by local experts, and publications of interest.
  • Polls and Surveys is an opt-in text messaging service that will provide occasional updates about events and opportunities in the 5HF service area. Participants will receive quick, one-question surveys to monitor our community points of view.  

For more information, contact 5 Healthy Towns Foundation staff, Matt Pegouskie, or Lori Kintz, at 734-433-4599.