The 3 Keys Framework

ATSDR’s 3 Keys for Addressing Community Stress Related to Environmental Contamination is a framework for public health actions to reduce stress and build resilience in communities faced with environmental contamination.


Select each tab to learn more about the 3 Keys.

3 Keys Framework - Recognize, Prepare, Partner

“Recognize” Primary Objective: Understand that all public health efforts become part of the community’s “secondary impact” experience.

Secondary Objectives:

  1. Legitimize the stress experience.
  2. Communicate risk effectively.
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3 Keys Framework - Recognize

“Prepare” Primary Objective: Understand the unique ways in which chronic environmental contamination has impacted and continues to impact this community.

Secondary Objectives:

  1. Learn about the community and its needs before addressing stress.
  2. Build lasting relationships and interventions.
  3. Be aware of chronic stress, conflict, and retraumatization.
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3 Keys Framework - Prepare

“Partner” Primary Objective: Engage with the community to assess needs and develop, implement, and maintain long-term interventions and resilience mechanisms.

Secondary Objectives:

  1. Work with community leaders and build community groups.
  2. Provide informal outreach and support settings.
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3 Keys Framework - Partner
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2021