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Social Connectedness: an Upstream Approach to Improving Health


Everybody wants to belong, to feel a part of a group, family, or community – it is an essential human need. A socially connected community is healthier and results in lower rates of behaviours like drinking or smoking, a lower prevalence of mental illness and more job opportunities. Read on to find support for fostering social connectedness in your community.


Social Connectedness Grants - Applications Open


$170,000 in grants is available to local governments working in partnership with Health Authorities and other sectors to improve social connectedness in communities or regions. Details here.

Informational webinar |  April 26, 2017 | 10:00am to 11:30am 
Learn more about how to apply for a Social Connectedness Grant to help your community cultivate connections or become Resilient Streets demonstration community. 

Resilient Streets Toolkit: A Guide for Building Community


One way to make communities healthier and more resilient is by strengthening the connections and relationships between neighbours on a street, or in apartment or condominium buildings. The Resilient Streets Toolkit includes information about resilience, practical actions, examples of successful projects and links to resources. The Toolkit is a key resource for communities applying for PlanH grants to become a Resilient Streets demonstration community.  Download it here. 

Supporting Health Equity Through the Built Environment


A new fact sheet has been released offering evidence-informed principles to support health equity through interventions in the built environment. This supplement to the Healthy Built Environment Toolkit is based on a scoping review titled Working with local governments to support health equity through the built environment. Find the fact sheet here.

Apply for Age-friendly BC Community Recognition


The Age-friendly British Columbia (AFBC) recognition program rewards and encourages communities to take action towards becoming age-friendly. If your community has completed the four basic steps towards becoming age-friendly, your local government can apply to have your community officially recognized as an AFBC community. Deadline is May 31, 2017. Find more information and the application form here.

Forum: Move it! Exploring Active Communities Innovations


Virtual Forum | May 17th, 2017 | 9:00am to 12:00pm
As part of the Active Communities grant application process, a half-day web forum will assist applicants from the Island Health and Interior Health regions to better understand the issue of physical activity and to inspire ideas for innovative applications.  This half day online forum is presented by BC Healthy Communities Society (BCHC) in collaboration with Island Health and Interior Health. Register here.

PlanH Social Connectedness Action Guide


The PlanH Social Connectedness Action Guide is a useful resource for local governments, health authorities and community partners interested in building healthy communities by cultivating social connectedness and belonging. Download it here.

Check our Twitter feed for examples of how BC communities are building social connectedness. Share an example of partnerships in your community that create strong social environments on Facebook. #BCHC_Connected


How Vancouver is Addressing Loneliness

Loneliness – and its link to health challenges ranging from depression to high blood pressure – became a topic of conversation across Vancouver after polls suggesting one in four Vancouver residents have grappled with social isolation. Read this article from the Guardian about how the City addressed the issue through the Engaged City taskforce and other initiatives.



Save the Date: Building Resilient Neighbourhoods - Four Years of Learning
May 10, 2017
Join BC Healthy Communities and the Tamarack Institute for a lively webinar with the Building Resilient Neighbourhoods team as they share what they've learned over the past four years working with communities to foster change. Find the registration link here.



How Strongly do British Columbians feel a Sense of Belonging?

The Vancouver Foundation’s 2016 Vital Signs report shares data about communities across the province. In the connections section, data reveals that 66% of respondents have a strong sense of belonging to their neighbourhood while 32% of respondents describe their sense of belonging as weak. Find links to the report and mini-reports from 16 regions across the province here.


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