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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.

The Use of Behaviour Change Concepts to Move Policy Forward

By Kim Bergeron, HC Link Consultant

On Friday October 21, 2011 24 participants from public health, municipal services, crime prevention, training and non-government organizations from across Central East Ontario came together to learn about the use of behaviour change concepts to move policy forward.

Traditionally, behaviour change concepts such as attitudes, beliefs, subjective norms, have been used to move individuals towards healthier lifestyle choices such as encouraging individuals to eat more fruit and vegetables or quit smoking by understanding their attitudes or beliefs about their food or smoking choices and consumption.

This workshop took a different twist on the use of behaviour change concepts by applying them to understand the behaviours of community decision-makers such as elected officials, executive directors or other community leaders whom participants want to support healthy community policies. Therefore, the focus was for participants to understand community decision-makers motivation, intentions and behaviours in order to develop strategies to change their behaviours so that they support healthy community policies such as access to recreation, access to healthy foods etc.

As the facilitator, I highlighted three traditional health behaviour change theories: transtheortical model, social cognitive theory and theory of planned behaviour and showed how concepts within these theories can be applied to community decision-makers to move policy forward. The focus was on identifying the desirable behaviours of community decision-makers and then understanding how to influence these behaviours to elicit supportive action. For example, when trying to influence elected officials to support a policy change, an elected official must make the motion for the policy and other elected officials must support the motion. Therefore, the types of behaviours of interest are ‘making the motion’ and ‘supporting the motion’.  

Through this interactive workshop, policy work was reframed and presented as ‘changing the status quo’ and participants were challenged to apply the information presented by answering questions on worksheets and engaging in group discussions.

Two examples of the types of group discussions are:


1.    Moving Forward Healthy Food and Physical Activity Policies in Regional Child Care Centres
The community decision-makers were Regional Child Care Providers (Executive Directors and Staff). The plan was to measure their knowledge and awareness of their role in providing healthy food and physical activity environments within their centres. The idea was to develop a scenario that models child care centres that have healthy food and physical activity policies and develop questions that measure if they felt that as regional child care providers they have a role to create this type of environment within their centres.   


2.    Moving Forward Healthy Mobile Food Vendor Policy
The issue was the provision of healthy food choices from mobile food vendors. The community decision-maker to be targeted was elected officials who set out the bylaws for mobile food vendors. The concept to be measured was their attitudes to changing by-laws to allow mobile healthy food vendor licenses.

At the end of the workshop, participants shared some ‘ah-ha’ moments that included: human behaviour is complex; time needs to be invested to ‘break it down’ behaviours in order to understand how to influence those making the decisions; and developing relationships is key when doing this type of work not only with community partners, but with those you are trying to influence.

 This workshop is now over. Slides of the workshop are available.

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Past workshop: The Use of Behaviour Change Concepts to Move Policy Forward

 

HC Link in partnership with Healthyork, present:

The Use of Behaviour Change Concepts to Move Policy Forward

Presented by Kim Bergeron, Healthy Communities Consortium Consultant

October, 21, 2011
9:30am to 12:30pm
Maple Community Centre
10190 Keele Street
Maple, Ontario L6A 1R7

This workshop will focus on identifying ways to use behaviour change concepts such as attitudes, values, beliefs and social norms to influence community decision-makers (i.e., elected officials, civil servants). A number of behaviour change theories such as Transtheortical Model, Social Cognitive Theory and Theory of Planned Behaviour will be highlighted to show how their concepts can be used to influence and move forward policy options related to creating healthy communities. This workshop builds on the ‘Beyond Policy Development to Policy Uptake’ resource.It will enable you to:

  • Understand behaviour change concepts and how they can be used to influence community decision-makers;
  • Engage in discussion with other’s who are working to create healthy communities through policy; and
  • Source some relevant resources.

This learning opportunity will be of interest to those who want to influence community decision-makers to create healthy communities where people work, learn, live and play


This session is now over. Write This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to inquire about a repeat.

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Past webinar: Mental Health Promotion in Action: Reflections from Northern Ontario

September 26, 2011
12:00-2:00pm (CDT)/1:00-3:00 pm (EDT)

This webinar, presented by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), will profile Strengthening Families for the Future (SFF), a best practice mental health promotion program for families with children (7 -11), who may be at risk for substance use problems, depression, violence, delinquency and school failure. The program is specifically designed to reduce risk factors, build individual resiliency, and enhance family protective factors. Program implementation considerations, tools and relevant materials will be highlighted.

This will be followed by a panel discussion that will explore integrating and coordinating mental health promotion programming in Northern/remote settings. There will be an opportunity for webinar participants to share their own experiences and knowledge in order to identify programming opportunities, challenges and strategies for integrating mental health promotion programming in Northern Ontario.

Spaces are limited. Preference will be given to residents of Northern Ontario. PowerPoint slides will be made available on the Healthy Communities Consortium website at a later date.

Susan Lalonde Rankin has been active in the area of health promotion and capacity building for the past 20 years. She started her career as a Public Health Nurse, then after completing her Master’s of Health Science in Health Promotion at the University of Toronto, she worked as a Health Promotion Consultant. She also has experience at the provincial level as a Policy Analyst. Since joining CAMH as a Program Consultant in 1994 she has worked in partnership with community agencies on public awareness initiatives, training, policy and program development.

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Welcome!

This is a pretty exciting day.

This is the day that we get to share with you our new name and brand: HC Link (Réseau CS, in French)!

Like most healthy communities and health promotion work, this celebration isn’t so much about one day as it is about the months and years of work that have led up to it. Today really is about the journey that we, HC Link, have been on — and that many of you have been on with us.

Our journey started more than two and a half years ago when our funder, the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport, asked us to form a virtual consortium to support its new Healthy Communities Fund. Since that time, we have journeyed from four resource centres working together to one strong collaborative organization with four provincial partners: Health Nexus, OHCC, OPHA and PAD. We have brought our history, our expertise, our passion for working with communities together under one brand: HC Link.

The re-branding alone has been a journey in itself! Several months ago, we hired Fingerprint Communications to do our re-branding. As part of this process, Fingerprint consulted with several of our clients from a variety of regions and sectors to get a clear sense of the positives and negatives of the name Healthy Communities Consortium and our work. The results were really interesting… there was a split perception of the Consortium where clients felt that the Consortium was credible, expert, helpful and a go-to source but at the same time disorganized, chaotic, confusing and a mish-mash. Fingerprint’s mission became to select a new name and identity that described not just who we are (as the name Healthy Communities Consortium does) but what we do in an understandable and simple way. After a lengthy process to identify potential names, Fingerprint conducted focus groups with our clients in French and in English to test the name. Our new logo and communications materials were also focus tested.

As a result, we have our new name. HC Link represents how we — as four separate organizations — have created new linkages with one another and how we’ve linked with clients over the past two years.  While “Link” describes the connecting function that we have, we added a further descriptor “HC” (healthy communities) to anchor it. The tagline “your resource for healthy communities” defines what we do: we provide supports for those working in the field of healthy communities.  

In our logo, the person icon represents the people function of HC Link — that we are people that are open to receiving information, ideas and people and that we also transmit thoughts, ideas and resources (represented by the bubbles and squares).

Our new communications materials are all clean, simple, ordered and structured to try to address the concern around confusion. On our new website, there is reference to the four member organizations that make up HC Link, but it is not highlighted to prevent confusion and create the sense of one organization.

One of the key challenges Fingerprint experienced was in trying to describe our services using language that would be accessible and understandable to the broad range of audiences that we serve. We’ve selected these four categories to describe the types of services that we deliver, in both languages:

  • Consultation
    ….. “how to” advice and support on issues that concern you
  • Learning and Networking Events
    …..  webinars and workshops on relevant topics
  • Resources
    ….. links and articles on tools and methods for developing healthy communities
  • Referrals
    ….. linking you to the right information source

We hope that you like our new name and brand and enjoy our website and new materials. Our services and our commitment to you, our clients, remains the same even though the name is new!

In ending….a little story. At the end of August we held a meeting for all of the staff and consultants who work with HC Link, and in conjunction with this meeting we launched our new name and brand internally. As part of the celebration we had balloons in our new blue colour with our logo in black, with which we decorate

d our meeting room and the door opening into it. To open the meeting, we asked each staff and consultant to share a peak experience from working with HC Link over the past two years. Anderson Rouse, Finance and Administration Coordinator with OHCC, shared the following:

“I arrived at the building this morning without really a sense of where I needed to go. I couldn’t find a map or a room directory so I just wandered through the building feeling a little lost. When we have one of these meetings the room could be booked under any name….Consortium or one of the four organizations in it. You never really know what to look for. Finally, I saw the HC Link balloons on the door and I thought “That’s where I belong!”

After two years of ambiguity, our new name on a balloon is what made Anderson feel like he was a part of something concrete and real.

Finally, with our new name and brand the staff and consultants at HC Link know who we are and what we do. Now we can go out into the healthy communities and health promotion world, confident with our image and our services, and meet your needs. And we can’t wait to do it!


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