The Mental Health and Addictions Health Promotion Team (HPT) recognizes that to achieve a healthy future - there needs to be safe and healthy communities where children, youth and families live, play, learn and work. The HPT strives to influence the conditions and surroundings of communities, so children, youth and families are thriving and are less likely to need the services of the health care system.
Objectives of health promotion work include supporting the protective factors for positive mental health outcomes, decreasing risk factors for poor mental health outcomes, and decreasing risk factors for substance use and gambling for youth. Specifically, the HPT focuses on addressing the Social Determinants of Mental Health. The three broad determinant areas are Social Inclusion, Freedom from Discrimination and Violence, and Access to Economic Resources.
How does the Health Promotion team work on changing the surroundings, influencing conditions, and addressing the Social Determinants of Mental Health?:
1. Data and Evidence – The HPT aims to understand current protective factors, risk factors, and health inequities and how they impact the mental health of children, youth and families in communities.
2. Connection and Partnerships. The HPT connets with colleagues from various departments at IWK Health, Nova Scotia Health, municipal, provincial, and federal government departments, and community organizations. The HPT does not work with individual clients or patients - the HP team does work to address the community conditions where the patients and clients live.
3. The Health Promotion Team advances evidence to action, by influence on and contribution to evidence-informed, population-based healthy public policy. This is primarily how the HPT does the work as they are committed to shaping the social, physical, and policy environments that surround clients and communities.
Description of Work: The HPT:
1) Reviews and shares evidence, research, data, and policy recommendations, 2) Drafts briefing notes, creates advocacy frameworks and position statements, writes reports, provides feedback for consultations, and supports community networking, 3) Participates in research, collaborates on strategy development and implementation, organizes communities of practice, and supports capacity building. The Mental Health and Addictions Promotion Specialists have graduate desgress in Public Health or Health Promotion. Health Promotion Specialists align work with the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. For an explanation about "What a Health Promoter Does", please click on this video below.
To contact and/or collaborate with the MHA Health Promotion Team, please email: HealthPromoMHA@iwk.nshealth.ca