Healthy and Flourishing Communities
Building healthy and flourishing communities means working together. We at AVH Mental Health and Addiction Services work with Community Health Boards, schools, community groups and other partners to change how we as a community understand and respond to mental illness and addiction issues.
AVH Mental Health and Addiction Services is integrating prevention and health promotion work as part of our AVH's committment to improving the health of our communities. The service understands mental health, mental illness, substance use and gambling as public health concerns and employs a population health approach.
Critical to creating healthy communities are:
- promoting positive mental health
- reducing stigma and discrimination
- preventing and/or reducing the negative impacts of mental illness
- preventing, delaying and/or reducing the harms associated with substance use and gambling
|Communities make a difference. We support he althy communities through effective policy work. Talk to us about organizational policies, trainings and community engagement|
Our Tree: A metaphor for a flourishing community
The tree represents a flourishing community or individual. "Flourishing" is a tenet of positive mental health. Flourishing is described as feeling good about and functioning well in life (Keyes, 2010). From a community health perspective, our vision is healthy and flourishing communities. This would include communities that have the capacity to understand and effectively engage issues of mental health, mental illness, substance use and gambling.
The roots of the tree show the social determinants of health -- the factors that determine health over a lifetime. Evidence is clear that those communities with more equal access to the factors that determine health are more able to flourish. On the other hand, those communities with a high degree of disparity between 'haves' and 'have nots' are less healthy and less enjoyable for everyone (Mikkonen & Raphael, 2010; World Health Organization, 2008).
The apples represent long term outcomes of Addiction and Mental Health prevention and daily promotion work. We work to promote health, to prevent or delay problems, to reduce risk and harm, to prevent relapse and promote health recovery. We achieve these long term goals by taking a planned, comprehensive approach.
The branches represent the primary strategies of our work: advocacy, health promotion and prevention. The Ottawa Charter (WHO, 1986) clearly details the primary functions of health promotion: developing healthy public policy, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action and re-orienting health services. From a population approach, taking action on the social determinants of health requires prioritizing the developmentand implementation of healthy public policy. This is long term work that touches all other aspects of our work. Advocating for persons challenged by mental illness, poor mental health, substance use or gambling is a key part of this work. Promoting flourishing and healthy communities where we all live, learn, work and play is critical.