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Tools and Resources to Lead Change


Today’s health challenges are complex and deeply rooted in society. Some people face bigger health hurdles than others. People in poverty, for example are far more likely to have health challenges than the average person in BC. A whole range of social, environmental and economic issues are at play. This month we are featuring an innovative group creating space for re-examining the complex systems that create the barriers to an improved quality of life for Nelson’s homeless street culture population. Read on for this story as well as news, events and tools for supporting healthy people by building healthy communities. 


Healing Nelson’s Downtown – Tackling the Systems that Influence the Health of the Street Culture Population


The city of Nelson saw an opportunity to heal their community when it’s police force felt it could not positively manage the street culture population. Partnering with the Interior Health Authority and non-profits, the Downtown Nelson Street Culture Collaborative was created to harness the power of the collective in finding upstream solutions. Read the story of how Nelson developed their community capacity, and began to help their most vulnerable residents.

New Hub Improves Access to Mental Health Supports and Services across BC


The Province of BC has announced a new digital hub among various initiatives and resources that will support those with mental-health and substance-use challenges. The new initiatives and resources will focus on prevention and early intervention, housing, enhanced treatment and supports, and better integration and access to services. Learn more here.

Measuring Progress - Smithers Community Vitality Project


The Town of Smithers, Northern Health, and the Bulkley Valley Social Planning Society worked together to explore and define a set of community vitality indicators for Smithers. Their work produced the 2016 Smithers Community Vitality Report Card. The Vitality Report Card serves as a discussion piece for the community as the first collective version of local indicators that accurately reflect trends in the vitality and wellbeing of the community in all of its dimensions. Read more here.

Squamish Children's Charter Supports the Needs of Children


On January 17, 2017, Squamish Council endorsed the Squamish Children’s Charter, created by the children of Squamish, outlining their rights as children and citizens. The Children’s Charter is a call to the community and decision‐makers to support the well being and unique needs of children. The Charter is part of the District’s Healthy Communities Capacity Building process – a coordinated effort to incorporate a health lens in community planning.

Event: Community Engagement: The Next Generation


Date: March 7-9  Location: Vancouver, BC

Engagement expectations have changed and yet we are often using the same community engagement techniques we have used for years. We need a new generation of tools and practices to inform, consult, involve and partner with people to build better communities. Although event is full - waitlisted spots often become available. Event details here.


The B.C. Community Road Safety Toolkit is an easily-accessible and electronically-searchable knowledge source about road safety designs and strategies that local governments can implement to improve road safety outcomes. Find it here.



This report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives examines the most recent statistics on poverty and its associated hardships in BC, and argues that strong policies are urgently needed to dramatically reduce and ultimately eliminate poverty in our province. Find it here.



In this video Doctor Rishi Manchanda discusses his realization that his job isn’t just about treating a patient’s symptoms, but about getting to the root cause of what is making them ill—the “upstream" conditions in their communities. Find it here.


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