The Lead Crisis in Flint: Where Mindfulness and Public Health Meet

There's a large-scale community mindfulness effort underway in Flint, MI to combat a health crisis: Flint area children may have suffered irreversible damage due lead-contaminated water.

Imagine discovering that your home’s water supply is tainted with toxic amounts of lead. That has been the reality for the hundreds of thousands of residents of Greater Flint Michigan since September 2015. Now the community is desperately seeking solutions to cope with a massive public health crisis. That quest has brought them to mindfulness.

The Extent of the Lead Problem in Greater Flint

Greater Flint has felt its share of strife. Once a booming center of auto manufacturing, the region of nearly 500,000 inhabitants, roughly 70 miles northwest of Detroit, has struggled mightily to overcome the economic depression, and high rates of unemployment, poverty, and crime that followed in the wake of the close of General Motors plants in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The once thriving city is now riddled with boarded up abandoned buildings, and its streets are devoid of grocery stores and safe public spaces.

The spring 2015 announcement of lead in the water supply was a long time in coming. Locals repeatedly complained of a bad smell, brown water, rashes and hair loss soon after their area water source was switched to the Flint River in April 2014. General Motors stopped using the water in October…