Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BCHC Newsletter | March 2015

BCHC's New Communications Specialist: Welcome Jennifer Nichols
Jennifer is a communications specialist with over ten years experience working with Municipal, First Nation and Provincial governments on sustainability initiatives. She has extensive experience collaborating with urban and rural planners on engaging local governments around building complete compact communities and facilitating development.

Jennifer earned a bachelor of communication design from Emily Carr University and a master’s degree in strategic leadership towards sustainability. She brings a deep appreciation for broad collective processes while maintaining a sharp eye for detail. Outside of work, Jennifer contributes to Design Inquiry research and local place-making projects.  

Read more about the
BCHC team and how we work here.

City of Victoria Youth Council Open Minds to Mental Health Issues
By Sarah Graham
For the past three years, the City of Victoria Youth Council (CVYC) has discussed the importance of tackling stigma about mental health and promoting services available to youth. But when it came to creating a project that could tackle the diverse issues surrounding mental health, the Council struggled to decide on something concrete.

Through this struggle, the group of 14 to 24 year-old youth emerged with a fresh approach to mental health issues. On Tuesday, March 24th, the CVYC hosted a Mental Health Forum to stimulate discussion about existing mental health services available to youth and how they could be better supported.

Over 20 mental health practitioners, community members, and youth attended the event to share their valuable knowledge and opinions. Representatives from the Island Mental Health Association, Bipolar Babe, Need2, Victoria Youth Empowerment Society, the Inter-Cultural Association, and the Red Cross were in attendance.

Many participants remarked on how pleased they were to see such an event in Victoria, not only to tackle stigma but also to increase education about the hard work different organizations are already doing. Some suggestions for CVYC projects included a wallet card listing services available to youth, a social media campaign to promote different organizations, or including resources on the CVYC website. To learn more about the event click here. Stay tuned for a full summary of the event!

Read more about the CYVC.

Celebrate Seniors with Lori McLeod
By Michelle Sandsmark
“If you don’t see past the packaging, you don’t see the true heart inside,” says Lori McLeod, Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation (GVEF). “I think it is really important for people to look closer and see the real person and not pass judgment based on age.” For the past 14 years, McLeod has worked in the name of improving the health and well-being of seniors across Vancouver Island.

McLeod became acutely aware of the issues seniors face through personal experience. One of McLeod’s family members became a victim of financial abuse while living in a seniors' apartment building. McLeod’s passion was awakened and continues to drive her tireless work advocating for seniors and their families with the Eldercare Foundation.
Her charisma and caring nature have helped grow GVEF’s dedicated team of staff, 100 enthusiastic volunteers, and 14 committed board members. The Foundation is a charitable organization devoted to raising funds to enhance the quality-of-life for seniors and those who care for them. The GVEF has trail-blazed many initiatives that support seniors and their caregivers including:
  • In 2006, the Foundation helped fund the development of the Yakimovich Wellness Centre and the Piercy Respite Hotel, two valuable resources in Victoria, BC.
  • In March 2015, the Foundation celebrated the 10th anniversary of Embrace Aging Month, an awareness initiative aimed at connecting people with resources and educational opportunities to help them navigate and embrace the journey of aging.
  • The GVEF’s Look Closer, See Me fundraising campaign has been incredibly successful and the organization has already raised two thirds of its $1 million goal. Almost $700,000 has already been spent on specialized equipment, program and community support to benefit our community’s valued elders.

McLeod is always searching for new and progressive ways to address the needs of seniors and caregivers. She has found incredible value in multi-sectoral collaboration. 

“It is important to leverage what you have by working with like-minded people and partners to actually make your footprint and the result that you leave is just a little bit bigger,” said McLeod.

McLeod’s compassion radiates in every aspect of her work as she continues to support seniors and their families across the Island. 
“I truly value older people and all their experiences and it tends to be that once people get to be a certain age they become invisible,” reflected McLeod, “Instead of them becoming invisible, I think they should be celebrated.”
While McLeod’s team of staff is small, the Foundation has made a lasting impact on the community - thousands of seniors and their families have received support from the GVEF.

Hear Lori speak about the Trust US! Intergenerational Initiative (Project) by clicking the image above. Trust US! is a project that entails a series of dialogues and community projects around key themes that will help to bridge the gap between seniors and youth in the Gorge-Tillicum area of Victoria. More here: bchealthycommunities.ca/trustus

Social Marketing and Community Capacity Building: Comparing Two Approaches
By Jodi Mucha

Communities are complex systems. They are more akin to raising a child versus baking a loaf of bread whereby, you follow a step-by-step recipe and can expect to get a perfectly baked loaf of bread each time. In the face of complexity within a community, there are also many different approaches being used to target specific groups, audiences or sectors to help address critical challenges and provide solutions or support.

Social marketing harnesses commercial marketing knowledge to understand the wants, needs and aspirations of people and how to offer products (tangible and intangible) that people believe meet their needs. Social marketing strives to create conditions that support behaviours, which increase the well-being and quality of life for individuals, families and societies across the globe. This is distinct from social media, and is utilized to address the determinants of health and social challenges using an array of interventions—often focused on making them fun, easy and popular.

There is a distinct difference between social marketing (in the context of public health) and community capacity building. This article provides a brief comparison of the two approaches as a means to support improved health and well-being of individuals and communities.

What is Social Marketing?
One well-known definition of social marketing is: "The application of commercial marketing technologies to the analysis, planning, execution, and evaluation of programs designed to influence voluntary behavior of target audiences in order to improve their personal welfare and that of society."[1] Note the following key points in this definition.
Social marketing:
  • Uses commercial marketing strategies;
  • Involves influencing voluntary (not forced or coerced) behavior change (not just increased awareness or increased knowledge);
  • Promotes an end goal of improved personal welfare and improved welfare of society.

What is Community Capacity Building?

BCHC defines community capacity building as the processes and activities that maximize individual and community potential. A comprehensive, integrated approach to capacity building nurtures excellence and expansion in all areas of human and community development: physical, psychological, social, cultural, environmental and economic. In this way, capacity building efforts reflect the complexity of people, and the communities in which we live our lives.

Social Marketing [1]                    
Community Capacity Building
Focus on “what is” (i.e. the problem) as identified by professionals or consumers
Focus on “what could be” as defined by community
Targeted messages to appeal and promote
Conversations to build curiosity, awareness and relationships
“Sell” new attitudes, choices and behaviours
Explore root causes of attitudes, choices and behaviours, and what it will take to make changes
Emphasis on measurable outcomes in attitude, choice, and behaviour
Emphasis on supportive relationships, reciprocity, and resilience
Promote ideas and goals
Engagement to identify shared ideas and goals
Focus on consumer
Focus on citizen
Target audience
Include and involve diverse community members
Identify topic
Identify purpose and principles; community chooses topics to explore and address purpose and principles
Persuade and promote
Engage and expand (knowledge, skills, self-awareness, other awareness, cultural awareness, relationships, commitment to community well-being, etc.)
Promotes cost/benefit analysis (i.e. costs of not changing behaviours, or investing)
Promotes the potential for health and well-being of individuals, families and communities.
Market a range of slogans, products, services, or practices
Explore how everyone can contribute to the goal of healthy children in healthy families in healthy community, and “best practices” of community building
Promote use of available services
Raise awareness of and promote use of broad range of community assets: formal and informal
Focus on change in individuals. Change efforts address single identified issue.
Sees early childhood development as an issue that affects individuals and communities. Focusing on one issue, enhances community capacity to address a range of important community issues.
Change individual thinking and choice
Change individual and cultural thinking and choice
Communications strategy as primary tool, i.e. TV, radio, newspaper, internet, social media, banners and balloons
Primary tools are relationship building, shared learning, and engagement

BCHC defines community capacity building as the processes and activities that maximize individual and community potential. A comprehensive, integrated approach to capacity building nurtures excellence and expansion in all areas of human and community development: physical, psychological, social, cultural, environmental and economic. In this way, capacity building efforts reflect the complexity of people, and the communities in which we live our lives.

BCHC offers services to support community groups and local governments to assess, enhance and mobilize the capacities they need to continually create and improve community health and well-being. Learn more about how we can work with you to create customized approaches to fulfill on your healthy communities goals here.

[1] Alan Andreasen, Marketing Social Change: Changing Behavior to Promote Health, Social Development, and the Environment, p. 7
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.

Northern Health Citizen Series

Where: Online and at various host sites across BC
Cost: Free

  • THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2015 (1:30-3:30 PM PDT) The Best is Yet to Be: Engaging Seniors' Wisdom and Voices in Building Healthy Age-friendly Communities.
    Register Here
  • THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2015 (1:30-3:30 PM PDT) It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Leveraging the Canada Winter Games for Healthy Active Communities in the Long Run. Register Here

For questions or to register, please contact Angela Bello at angela@bchealthycommunities.ca or go to bchealthycommunities.ca/events

To watch the recording from previous webinars, go to Citizen Series Project on the BCHC website and follow the links to each past event.

Art Reception: Collaboration Generation 
THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2015 (7:00-9:00 PM)
Where: Victoria City Hall, 1st Floor Gallery at 1 Centennial Square
Cost: Free

During the past two months, established artists and young people have come together through the Art Mentorship Program (AMP) to produce work in a variety of mediums.

Generation Collaboration will celebrate the completion of the art created during this time. Admission and refreshments are complimentary. More information here.

Cities Fit for Children Summit: Call for Presentations
NOVEMBER 12-13, 2015
Where: Vernon Lodge, Vernon BC

The 5th biennial Cities Fit for Children brings together municipal and regional policymakers, First Nations, and child/youth practitioners to strengthen community capacity in order to develop healthy thriving cities, towns and villages.

The 2015 event theme is "In my Backyard."  Presenters are invited to provide innovative ideas for creating child and family-friendly communities, share a “toolbox” of solutions, and provide evidence-based, applied research to support best practices. For more information on how to apply, click here. 

Recommended by Jodi Mucha
Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Makers
By Sam Kaner

The third edition of this ground-breaking book continues to advance its mission to support groups to do their best thinking. It demonstrates that meetings can be much more than merely an occasion for solving a problem or creating a plan. Every well-facilitated meeting is also an opportunity to stretch and develop the perspectives of the individual members, thereby building the strength and capacity of the group as a whole.

This fully updated edition of The Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making leads readers through the struggle and the satisfaction of putting participatory values into practice, helping them to fulfill the promise of effective group decision-making. With previous editions already embraced by business and community leaders and consulting professionals around the world, this new book is even more insightful and easy to use.

Source: Chapters