Tuesday, July 3, 2012

BCHC Newsletter - June 2012


Now Available Online: The Energy Conservation Engagement Toolkit

The Energy Conservation Engagement Toolkit was created through a collaboration between BCHC and BC Housing. The Toolkit includes "The Tenant Engagement on Sustainability Guide for Social Housing Providers" which focusses on practical steps for the development and implementation of a tenant engagement program to reduce energy use and related utility costs.

The toolkit includes the Guide and the Facilitators Handbook that provides a hands-on resource for facilitators engaging directly with tenants. 
The toolkit has been created for social housing providers who are interested in engaging their tenants on issues related to sustainability.
This toolkit focuses specifically on supporting behaviour change for energy conservation. 
Communication materials mentioned in the toolkit and a list of resources are available from BC Housing. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact: livegreen@bchousing.org (Source: BC Housing)

Promoting Mental Wellness of Punjabi Seniors

To find out more about how community programs in the South Fraser region support the mental health of Punjabi seniors the Punjabi Seniors Wellness Coalition organized two Punjabi Seniors Wellness Forums, one in Abbotsford and one in Surrey, in 2011. The coalition invited two groups: 1) community service providers delivering services to Punjabi seniors, and 2) Punjabi seniors who had migrated late in life. Three main themes emerged from the discussions: social inclusion; family; and reaching out to Punjabi seniors by service providers and community groups. Results of this forum and next steps are outlined in the article “Promoting Mental Wellness of Punjabi Seniors" in the latest publication  of Cultures West Magazine.

The Punjabi Seniors Wellness Coalition is composed of:
Satwinder Bains (University of the Fraser Valley), 
Jas Cheema (Fraser Health), 
Madeleine Addison (Canadian Mental Health Association), and 
Deirdre Goudriaan (BC Healthy Communities). 
Please contact Deirdre at Deirde@bchealthycommunities.ca for more information. 

Save our Newsletter for Future Reference

In response to our readers requests we have provided the option to save this newsletter in a PDF format. This option will allow you to make a print friendly copy of the newsletter and also offers the option to delete sections in the PDF so you can print only the specific content that you’re interested in. You can find the print friendly button at the end of each newsletter.
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Victoria Community Tables Participants Take The Lead on Neighbourhood Action Projects 

In 2011-2012 the United Way of Greater Victoria (UWGV) piloted the Engaging Neighbours: Community Tables in the neighbourhoods of Oaklands, Gorge-Tillicum, and North Park. UWGV and BCHC collaborated on the Community Tables project to create the space for cross-sectoral community conversations. These conversations resulted in identified strategies for taking action at the community level. Monthly sessions involved group learning and capacity building processes, which helped explore local challenges, identify assets, and generate neighbourhood focused actions.

One of the piloted communities was North Park, a ‘gritty’, multicultural neighbourhood with a broad socio-economic mix. The overall vision for North Park, generated at the monthly meetings, was that of “a culturally diverse, green, inclusive community that values the provision of affordable housing to families and those experiencing poverty. The table members aspired to keep North Park artsy, ‘funky’, and gritty while remaining safe and accessible”. The table members acknowledged that the monthly meetings had created a powerful engine for future collaboration and decided to continue building on this momentum. Some of the table members joined the North Park Neighbourhood Assocation as part of a new action-focused sub committee, others started a neighbourhood wide green mapping project with the support of the UWGV.

Not all table members ended up being directly involved with the action plans, but the church members, artists, social workers, farmers, youth and others that participated at the table sessions were given the opportunity to speak their voice, hear each others stories and learn from each others experiences and that has created a stronger foundation for these emerging communities.

The final outcomes of the Engaging Neighbours: Community Tables pilot project will be presented at the Community Tea & Celebration on September 19. To find out more about the Community Tables please visit the UWGV website or contact bchc@bchealthycommunities.ca


Ellen Pond
Pembina Institute’s Sustainable Communities Group

Photo: Patricia Sayer
Ellen has spent much of her life building, designing, and engaging with citizens around cities and sustainability. In her current position as Senior Technical and Policy Advisor with the Pembina Institute’s Sustainable Communities Group, she develops leading edge climate change and sustainable energy solutions with local government.

In her prior work at the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP), UBC, Ellen designed and evaluated climate change planning processes with local communities. Recent projects include a study on sea level rise adaptation options with the Corporation of Delta, and “Visualizing Neighbourhood Energy Futures” workshops with Vancouver citizens. The “Energy Futures” workshops link Vancouver’s Greenest City goals for climate leadership, green buildings, and green mobility to the neighbourhood planning underway in Marpole and Grandview-Woodland. Using a generic neighbourhood map and scenario-based strategy cards, participants chose future energy strategies and designed their desired future neighbourhood.

For Kimberley’s Climate Adaptation Project, Ellen and the CALP team designed a conceptual adaptation plan for Kimberley’s downtown. The plan called for re-naturalizing Mark Creek, which flows through town in a concrete flume, and the addition of recreational spaces. The City of Kimberley is currently implementing the Mark Creek restoration project.

Ellen also volunteers on the Board of Community Studio (CS), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting grassroots projects that restore, revive and rejuvenate our neighbourhoods. CS provides collaborative design and planning services for community-initiated projects to create a shared vision, build social capital, and attract political and financial support for local projects. CS services include graphic and technical skills, design information and resources, and collaborative design workshops. For example, CS recently worked with the Denman Island Memorial Society to design the first independent Green Burial Cemetery in Canada.

Ellen is a member of the BC Society of Landscape Architects, and holds a Master’s of Landscape Architecture from UBC. Her award-winning graduate project explored how to re-design existing residential neighbourhoods for intensive greenhouse gas mitigation.

Ellen is also a ticketed Journeyperson Carpenter, and completed her apprenticeship with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Local 1995. During her apprenticeship, she worked on Richmond City Hall, the Broadway skytrain station, and Burnaby schools. She is also an avid soccer fan.


Canadian Clinical: Canada’s New National Mental Health Strategy and Its Effect on Youth
By: Audrina Benson

Changing Directions, Changing Lives, Canada’s new National Mental Health Strategy, has six strategic directions and is sure to be read by many prominent clinical psychology programs and legislators both inside and outside of the nation. Generally, the aim of the document is to “promote mental health across the lifespan in homes, schools, and workplaces, and prevent mental illness and suicide wherever possible” and to “foster recovery and wellbeing for people of all ages living with mental health problems and illnesses, and uphold their rights.”

Mental illness certainly afflicts people of all ages, and the mental health strategy reflects this. There are priorities in the strategy which focus on “populations that are considered to be at high risk, such as women, newcomers, refugees, racialized people, people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and the elderly.”

In addition, youth are also at risk and there are recommendations which specifically concern the younger population, especially in regard to prevention. It is also notable that stigma affects young people in particular, and for 25% of them shame prevents them from seeking help, even if they believe they may be suffering from a mental health problem. While some aspects of the strategy are financially focused, there are key strategies to help break down the barriers of the stigma which is an obstacle to recovery for those dealing with a mental illness.

One in five people in Canada are expected to be affected by mental illness in any given year (Mental Health Commission in Canada 2011). A recent article in the Calgary Herald, indicates the strategy is long overdue, as it calls for “an overhaul of a system it calls so fractured and underfunded". One of the priorities of the strategy is to “reduce the overrepresentation of people living with mental health problems and illnesses in the criminal justice system, and provide appropriate services, treatment, and supports to those who are in the system.” This links to another one of the strategic directions, which is to “provide access to the right combination of services, treatments and supports, when and where people need them.”
There are young people in the criminal justice system who may have been diagnosed, but who are not receiving adequate treatment. British Columbia has a Community Action Initiative (CAI) which has been funding mental-health related projects in communities. One project has helped young parents and their children, another focuses on mental health for Aboriginal youth age 13-18, and a third helps vulnerable young people between the ages of 16 and 25. The national strategy “supports the work of the CAI in building relationships, strengthening capacity and mobilizing communities to improve the quality of everyday life for people across British Columbia.”

The national strategy, which involves $4 billion in additional funding for mental health is a great start to addressing challenges of mental illness and it has the potential to improve the health and well being of individuals and communities across the province.

Resources & References:

Please send your comments to:

Presentation ~ Community Tables: Engaging Neighbours Community; Tea & Celebration Party
Where: Victoria City Hall (1 Centennial Square)
When: September 19th 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
What: Join this presentation to hear about the highlights and lessons learned during the Community Tables: Engaging Neighbours Initiative project. Find out more information here


Webinar "Nudging us toward the 5th Wave of Public Health"

Source: 'Fifth Wave' Presentation Phil Hanlon
On June 13th BCHC hosted the webinar "Nudging us toward the 5th Wave of Public Health" with Phil Hanlon, Melanie Sondergaard (Storytellers' Foundation) and Deirdre Goudriaan (BCHC). This webinar was made possible through a partnership with the Healthy Families BC Communities Initiative, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Coalitions Linking Action and Science for Prevention (CLASP).

Through presentations, dialogue and discussion the webinar explored practical, positive suggestions for systemic and policy changes in how we approach complex health issues at the community level (such as achieving healthier weights for children and youth).

This webinar helps to illuminate the links between key social determinants of health and overall individual and community well- being, with a particular focus on the development of healthy public policy. View the full webinar here

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1 comment:

  1. Really its a readable article. thanks for shearing your deep knowledge with us.

    Thanks and Regard:
    Landscape Designer VA