Blog

Welcome to HC Link's blog! Our blog will provide you with useful information on healthy community topics, news, and resources, as well as information on HC Link’s events, activities, and resources. Our bloggers include HC Link staff and consultants, as well as our partnering organizations, clients, and experts in the health promotion field.

Please note: opinions in posts are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of HC Link or our funder.

We look forward to engaging in thought-provoking conversation with you!

To view past blogs, please click on the home icon below left.

Past webinar: Working together with Francophones in Ontario (Webinar in French)

January 26, 2012

10:00am - noon EST

This webinar is an introduction on how to engage Francophone communities. Given that our communities often contain a moderate-to-high population of Francophones, we need to engage our Francophone partners and community members in our work. In this session, we will review background information about the social, economic and political context for Franco-Ontarians and share their experiences, successes and key learnings in three areas: What are the strategies we can use to engage Francophone populations? What are the benefits to our community and our work when we do so? What practical ideas and steps should we take in order to engage Francophones?

Estelle Duchon joined the HC Link team at Health Nexus as bilingual health promotion consultant. She holds a Master's degree in project management. Her passions include engaging Francophone communities and supporting organizations in developing French language services.

Andrea Bodkin joined the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) in 2006 and currently is the manager of the OPHA HC Link team. Andrea has an extensive background in physical activity and health promotion and has worked in local recreation centres and public health units as well as provincial NGOs and agencies.

This webinar is now over. To inquire about a repeat, please email Estelle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

1991 Hits
0 Comments

Best Practice Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion Programs: Older Adults 55+

Submitted by CAMH Resource Centre

Best Practice Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion Programs: Older Adults 55+

CAMH

New! Now available for download as PDF in English and French!

As the aging population in Canada grows, addressing the mental health of older people is a demographic imperative. Best Practice Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion Programs: Older Adults 55+ is the second in a series of online guides for promoting positive mental health across the lifespan. This resource has been developed to support health and social service providers in incorporating best practice approaches to mental health promotion interventions for people aged 55 years and older.

The resource includes:

  • Guidelines: 11 best practice guidelines for mental health promotion with older people.
  • Background: Describes how older adults are defined in this resource.
  • Exemplary programs: Describes several programs that incorporate good practice and exemplify the guidelines.
  • Outcome and process indicators: Provides examples of indicators for measuring program success.
  • Theory: Provides definitions and underlying concepts, with a focus on promoting resilience.
  • Resources: Provides a worksheet and sample to help plan and implement mental health promotion initiatives, plus a list of web resources, and glossary.
  • References and Acknowledgements

The resource is available for download in PDF at: https://knowledgex.camh.net/policy_health/mhpromotion/mhp_older_adults/Documents/mhp_55plus.pdf

The Best Practice Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion Programs is a joint project between the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto; and Toronto Public Health.

 

For further information about this resource, please contact:
Tamar Meyer

Health Promotion Consultant

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

2434 Hits
0 Comments

Highlights and Interpretation of the Resource - Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts

By Kyley Alderson

Resource- Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts (Mikkonen, J. & Raphael, D., 2010)

Overview of this document:

This document promotes awareness about the health inequities that exist here, in Canada. It explains various factors present in our society, and how exactly they contribute to poor health (i.e. the Social Determinants of Health). For each of these determinants, statistics are given to compare how Canada is doing compared to the rest of the developed Nations. As well, public policies are suggested for how we can begin to improve our health. These policies focus on the source of the problems (such as living conditions) rather than just dealing with the symptoms, which is where we usually tend to focus (such as diet and exercise, or chronic disease management). This document not only shows how important policy decisions are for our heath, it also emphases that it is up to us, as Canadian citizens, to remain informed on how these policies affect our health, and how to support candidates of political parties that are receptive to this.

As such, this resource is intended to act as an agent for political change, by informing and encouraging the general public to act on the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). If you have time to read the full document, I highly recommend it, especially if you are not familiar with the SDOH. However, if you are like most people and don’t have time, here is a brief summary I have pulled together.

Also, here is a diagram I created on the major policy implications suggested in this document as ways to improve the impact of the SDOH. Increasing minimum wage and social assistance programs affect all of the SDOH, but there are also policy implications more related to specific determinants:

 

chart















 



In this document, I was surprised to read that:

  • While Canada is one of the biggest spenders in health care, we have one of the worst records in providing an effective social safety net. How much sense does it make to spend all of our money on treating illnesses, when we send people back to the same conditions that made them sick? Furthermore, why not spend more money on trying to prevent illness in the first place?
  • Canada is even worse than the United States on supporting childcare and early childhood education. On a list of the 25 wealthiest developed Nations, Canada ranks 24th out of 25 Nations on public expenditures on Childcare and Early Educational Services, whereas the US ranks 16th. There is a strong relationship between a parents socioeconomic status and their children’s developmental outcomes, and one way to weaken this relationship would be to provide high quality early childhood education regardless of a parents wealth.

I think most Canadians are not aware that:

  • Social exclusion (specific groups being denied the opportunity to participate in Canadian life) is a big reality in our society today. Excluded groups in Canada (listed by Mikkonen and Raphael) include Aboriginal Canadians, Canadians of colour, recent immigrants, women, and people with disabilities. We can see social exclusion in our society by the segregation of these groups into certain neighborhoods, as well as disproportionate unemployment rates, and employment in lower-income sectors and occupations for these populations. This document contains shocking statistics on the importance of gender, race, and Aboriginal Status on average income:
    • Women tend to earn less than man regardless of occupation. Men working in management earn an average of $1261 per week and women $956.

    • The average income for all Canadian men is $36,800, compared to the average income for men in the Haitian community is $21,595.

    • The average income of an Aboriginal man is only 58% of the average income of a non-Aboriginal man.

An important consideration this document highlights:

  • The manner by which some social determinants influence the population’s health is shaped by our current public policies, and therefore the SDOH are not going to be the same for all countries. For example, if adequate income and necessary services, such as childcare, were provided to all in Canada, the health threatening effects of education would be much less.

Now what?

Unfortunately, the people most affected by the SDOH, generally, have the least amount of power in society, and their voice is not the one being heard by most political leaders. It is up to all of us to put health on the political agenda. One can’t simply blame political parties for their decisions when these decisions are based on the values of Canadians who elected them in the first place. We must demand that elected representatives commit themselves to address these issues, and that we elect those who will promote the health of Canadians through Healthy Public Policy. After all, it is not just the health of those with the least amount of resources that will be improved; everyone’s health improves when the gap in health disparities is reduced.

However, the people who hold the majority of power in society and who may not understand the social determinants of health, most likely are not reading this document. I only heard about this document through a health promotion listserv that I am on. So, the question remains, how do we get this information out to those who currently don’t understand the impact of the SDOH, and how do we convey to certain populations (who may not be adversely affected by the SDOH) to still get involved in these discussions? Furthermore, how do we get those who may not currently be holding the power in society to get involved in these discussions? How do we switch the thinking of the greater population from an ideology of individualism to one of cohesion and solidarity?

Lastly, I would like to mention that this document shed light on many of the things Canada is doing wrong, however, I hope there are some indicators related to the SDOH that Canada is not ranking so poorly on compared to other developed Nations. While sharing the negative may get some people heated and ready to act, we must make sure to focus on the strengths of Canada’s heath and public policies as well, so that we have a good place to begin working from, and can leverage support that way.

I welcome any comments and would love to discuss this further with you!

2882 Hits
2 Comments

John Ott Explains the difference between Kronos and Kairos time

{"video":"http://youtu.be/rbXNvi5nUzQ","width":"400","height":"300"}

3926 Hits
0 Comments

Looking Back Before Looking Ahead

By Dianne Coppola

For many of us, December is a frenzy of holiday activity where the days never seem quite long enough to plow through our "to do" lists. I find myself saying things like... "Where did the day, week, month, year go?" Unfortunately, the quick answer is never all that satisfying!

As someone who is committed to lifelong learning and self-improvement, I regularly read books, blogs and e-news bits on leadership, facilitation, and planning. I particularly enjoy Kevin Eikenberry, Chief Potential Officer (isn’t that a great job title?) of the Kevin Eikenberry Group (www.kevineikenberry.com) and author of Remarkable Leadership.

This week, Kevin wrote about the importance of taking time to reflect on the past year in order to inform planning and goal setting for the coming year. This is an important but often neglected activity for both personal and professional renewal. After all, how can we determine where we want to go if we don’t know where we’ve been, what the journey has been like and what we accomplished?

I encourage you can take a few quiet moments amidst the holiday festivities to reflect on a few of the questions Kevin posed to his readership, before dashing into 2012! I think you’ll find it’s one of the better gifts you can give yourself.
Happy Reflections!

  • What did I accomplish this year?
  • What accomplishment am I most proud of?
  • Knowing what I know now, what would I do differently?
  • How did I contribute?
  • What were my biggest challenges or obstacles?
  • What did I overcome, and how?
  • What did I learn?
  • Who are the most interesting people I have met, and why?
  • What else do I want to reflect on?

Bonus: These questions can also be applied to the organization you work or volunteer with and/or the community partnership you are a member of.

1922 Hits
0 Comments