Wednesday, May 21, 2014

BCHC Newsletter | May 2014


BCHC is thrilled to announce
Forty-nine Communities in BC Will Receive Healthy Communities Capacity Building Grants!

We would like to thank all the communities that submitted an application to the Healthy Communities Capacity Building Fund. We received over 150 applications from communities throughout the province for projects as diverse as active transportation planning and urban agriculture visioning.

Thirty-eight communities will receive Stream 1: Learn and Connect grants. These grants support communities to develop partnerships across sectors, to learn about conditions that support health and well-being, to identify and plan for local health and well-being priorities, and to develop opportunities and leadership for action. Eleven communities will receive Stream 2: Innovate grants to undertake leading-edge, action to address local conditions that influence health and well-being. We are very excited to be supporting such a great range of projects.

Click here to view a list of upcoming projects

Introducing Penny Dunlop
New Communications Coordinator
Penny believes that effective communications play a critical role in social mobilization, advocacy and community development. Penny’s work is rooted in curiosity and playfulness, making space for ‘aha moments’ and breakthroughs. She looks forward to working with the BCHC team to develop effective communication and outreach materials to enhance BCHC’s capacity building efforts across the province.

Most recently, Penny has been working in development and communications for the Victoria Women's Transition House where she witnessed the impact community can have on the most vulnerable and isolated in our neighbourhoods. The experience of building community support and raising awareness around an issue close to her heart was what inspired her to pour her efforts into Community Development - a deep seeded passion of hers.

In her spare time, Penny enjoys mountain biking with her puppy Piper, treasure hunting (thrift shopping) and practicing yoga. 

You can reach Penny at

BCHC Participates as a Guest Panelist
Mental Health E-Dialogue
By Jodi Mucha

Feelings of isolation, loneliness, anxiety, fear and emotional distress are part of the human condition, and many people develop coping mechanisms to maintain their everyday life. Mental illness occurs when those feelings become overwhelming, compromising one’s ability to cope.1Mental illness is pervasive in Canada and affects everyone, either personally or through family, friends and colleagues. Statistics Canada reports that 2.8 million people or 10.1% of Canadians aged 15 and older reported symptoms consistent with at least one of six mental and/or substance use disorders in the past 12 months including major depressive episodes, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and abuse of or dependence on alcohol, cannabis or drugs.2

On April 23, 2014, Jodi Mucha, BCHC Executive Director participated as a guest panelist with a diverse group of practioners and researchers in an e-Dialogue on mental health and its implications for sustainable development.  Hosted by the Community Research Connections (CRC) on Sustainable Community Development, this e-Dialogue was just one aspect of a wider ranging community research agenda.  A summary of the e-Dialogue will be posted here soon.

1. Public Health Agency of Canada (2002). A report on mental illnesses in Canada. Health Canada
2.  Statistics Canada (2013). Canadian Community Health Survey: Mental Health, 2012.

Community Developer Extraordinaire 
Tanis Dagert, MEd

Community Developer Tanis Dagert, MEd, loves living on Vancouver Island and has been helping to build stronger, healthier and more resilient communities since she moved there in1998 after a two year Volunteer stint with CUSO in Indonesia. With strong roots in popular education, food security, sustainable living and health promotion, Tanis has worked with communities across the island on initiatives related to skills training, community food projects, network building, research, digital story telling, social media, and engaging policy makers in planning and action. Past roles include leading a Health Canada health promotion project called 'Living Well' in Nanaimo (2001-2005), development of skill building programs and organizational sustainability as Executive Director of Nanaimo Foodshare Society (2001 - 2006) and leading a team of community developers to help kickstart over 20 grassroots healthy community initiatives all over the island as a Community Capacity Facilitator with the BC Healthy Living Alliance (2008-2010).

Currently Tanis is coordinating the Alberni Clayoquot Health Network that brings stakeholders together in the region to discuss and collaborate on public health issues. Using a social determinants of health approach, the Health Network is aiming to address the lack of affordable and accessible transportation, affordable housing and health literacy in the region while at the same time trying to work 'upstream' and ensure that children have the healthiest futures possible. Tanis also facilitates a very successful Facebook group called 'Sustainable Food Vancouver Island' with news and events aimed at supporting and building a sustainable food system on the island.

Tanis believes that we need to impact health earlier, create healthy supportive environments for people to live, work and play in and that we all need to work together. "There are global forces at play and it's important to focus on the big picture while at the same time trying to facilitate changes at the local level," she said. "It's important to serve our communities in whatever way we can, whether it's on the ground or in cyberspace." 

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED): A Cost Effective Community Design Strategy
By Michelle Sandsmark

Built environments can be altered and transformed to encourage positive behaviours, including reductions in criminal activity. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is an increasingly popular method used to deter criminal activity in communities across the globe.  Rather than focusing on crime control through policing communities and physical security, careful neighbourhood planning, development, and maintenance can result in a reduction of crime. Ultimately, a reduction in crime can lead to positive outcomes such as improved perceptions of neighbourhood safety, social connectedness, and psychological well-being.


Criminologist Dr. C. Ray Jeffery coined the CPTED phrase in 1971. He argued that too much emphasis had been placed on the social causes of crime, while the environmental determinants may be just as important. Architect and city planner Oscar Newman built on the CPTED concept and created the theory “defensible space”, while criminologist Tim Crowe has taken this idea and developed a series of CPTED training programs. CPTED has now become a key strategy for crime prevention for anyone in architectural design, space management, and urban planning. The Three-D approach provides simple guidance to determine whether or not a space will prevent or stimulate crime:
1) Designation - What was the original purpose of the space? Is it fulfilling this purpose?
2) Definition - Are the borders, ownership, and legal signage clearly displayed and understood by the community?
3) Design - How well does the design support the intended function, and desired behaviours?

Keeping the Three-D’s in mind, CPTED strategies stem from four major principles:
1) Natural access control - a facility or space should give a natural indication of where people are permitted access, or where they should keep out. Guards and locks can only go so far, so setting obvious boundaries is important.
2) Natural surveillance - simple placement of windows or maintaining an area so it feels like there is always someone watching the street can deter criminal activity.
3) Territorial reinforcement - while this encompasses the first two concepts, there is stronger emphasis on ownership of property.
4) Maintenance - managing and maintaining the physical appearance of the built environment (i.e. repair signs of vandalism, create aesthetically pleasing spaces) can foster respect for the space.

Human resources and hardware, such as alarm systems, can be extremely costly to regulate crime in the neighbourhood. CPTED concepts can be used in any type of community or facility, indoors or outdoors, without having to sacrifice an abundance of time and resources. In fact, this has been shown to be a cost effective strategy that local governments can adopt. 

Click here to watch a comprehensive overview of CPTED theory

Practical Implementation 
The following are some key examples of CPTED actions:

Businesses often strategically position workstations to increase the perception of surveillance;
Shelves, displays, and racks can be lowered to enhance visibility, improve surveillance of customer activities, and improve attractiveness;
Installing large windows that face the street can increase perception of surveillance;
Bright lights that can be left on over night can reduce the likelihood of a break-in.

Locating parking stalls so large windows and entrances look onto vehicles can deter vehicle theft;
Improving sightlines by cutting back shrubs and trees can enhance visibility and reduce space for concealment of criminal activity;
Installing bright street lighting in high crime areas;
Immediately repairing signs of vandalism such as broken glass, graffiti, or other damaged property, to reduce the likelihood of criminal activity proliferating in the area .

CPTED Examples in British Columbia

North Vancouver: RCMP officers who have received CPTED training are available to conduct a free evaluation of locations in North Vancouver. A formal report will be provided listing recommendations for CPTED actions.

Tumbler Ridge Urban Design Guidelines: Tumbler Ridge developed as a new community in the 1980’s, and incorporated all the CPTED principles from the beginning to become “The World’s First CPTED Town”. 

Expo Line Needs and Priority Assessment: This study helped to assess whether the design of the rapid transit stations would enhance or detract from personal security. The assessment includes issues, constraints, and potential improvements. 

Additional Resources

These links provide information about CPTED training, toolkits, and planning:
CPTED Training Opportunities In BC
CPTED Guidebook
Kelowna CPTED Guidelines
Saskatoon CPTED Safety Audit Checklist

Northern BC Citizen Series "Social Retrofit: Equipping Our Communities to Support Aging in Place"

June 17th from 1:30-3:30pm PDT

Join us for an exploration of opportunities to better equip our communities to support aging in the places we live.

The statistics are pretty clear: the baby boomers are moving into their senior years and are expected to be the biggest age group in the Canadian demographic - over 25% of Canadians by 2050 will be over 65. In northern BC, the seniors portion of the population will be larger than in any other part of the province. Such dramatic demographic shifts have implications for services, for community development and for sustaining healthy communities. 

Join us online at no cost for our series of interactive webinars focused on the role citizens and northern BC communities can play in influencing health outcomes.To learn more and register, click here.

Responding to Climate Change: Actions and Practices that Link Health, Ecosystems and Society

May 28th from 1:00-2:30pm PDT

This Ecohealth Webinar, hosted by the Western Node of the CoPEH-Canada, aims to highlight the diverse ways in which practitioners, professionals, policy-makers, community members and researchers are responding to topical issues at the nexus of health, ecosystems and society. The interactive 90-minute sessions will focus especially on action and practice, and will purposefully profile issues that cut across disciplines, sectors, jurisdictions, species and geographical boundaries.

Speakers include:
  • Stacy Barter, BC Healthy Communities. "Health Impacts of Climate Change in BC: Health Authority Perceptions and Capacity for Action."
  • Noba Anderson: Regional district director, (Electoral Area 'B'), Cortes Island: "Building local resilience: Climate Change and community resource governance"
  • Lindsay Galway, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University: "Learning about how climate change is framed: insights from public health and water management"
  • Tim Takaro, Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University: "Climate Change and Health Policy Group"
To learn more and register, email Stephan Iwasawa at

City of Victoria Youth Council Events

Join us at Esquimalt's first Bike Fest! Meet Youth Council members, check out our PedalBox Bike Art Gallery, enjoy an interactive activity and give your feedback on Victoria's Cycling Master Plan!

May 25th 11am-1:30pm at the Archie Browning Centre

Everything you(th) need to find a job, all in one room! One-on-one resume and cover letter help, employers and youth employees from all major sectors, "What Not to Wear to a Job Interview" and more, all in a casual fair style!

June 4th 4-7pm at the Victoria Event Centre

To find out more, email us at

PHABC's 5th Annual
Public Health Summer School

Date: June 23 – 26
Time: 9:00am – 4:30pm PDT
Main locations: UBC, UVic, UNBC, UBC-Oka
Subsites: Kamloops, Smithers, Fort St. John, Castlegar

The Public Health Summer School welcomes participants from a variety of fields and backgrounds who are working directly or indirectly with with public health across the province. The four-day summer school event is divided into two sessions, each over two-days. You can register for one session, but will have the most rewarding experience by attending the full four days.

June 23 and 24 – Supporting and Protecting Health: Promoting Mental Wellness and Addressing Psychoactive Substances
Goal: To build awareness, understanding and skills for promoting and protecting positive well-being by addressing health challenges and using evidence-informed health promoting mechanisms and implementation strategies related to mental health and substance use.

June 25 and 26 – Strengthening Healthy and Sustainable Communities through Local Government Planning and Public Health Collaboration 
Goal: To increase understanding of the key features of healthy and sustainable communities; to increase understanding of the mutually supportive and collaborative roles and activities of local government (municipalities and regional districts) and public health professionals in supporting them and to provide inspiration and ideas for further collaborative action in BC. 

Register now, as space is limited!

Recommended by Jodi Mucha
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
By David Allen

In today's world, yesterday's methods just don't work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen's premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential. In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to:

Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box to empty. Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations. Plan projects as well as get them unstuck. Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed Feel fine about what you're not doing From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.

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