On the Path to Better Health – A Closer Look at Three Routes
On May 26th, 2014, BC Healthy Living Alliance hosted the webinar: On the Path to Better Health – A Closer Look at Three Routes.
Mary Collins, Director of the BCHLA Secretariat provided an overview of the findings and recommendations of BCHLA’s most recent report On the Path to Better Health. She talked about the BC trends in chronic disease with modifiable risk factors over the past decade. She also discussed the factors that can either reduce or raise the risk for some of the most common diseases – namely: diet, activity, smoking, obesity and outlined the connections with mental health and poverty.
Stephen Smith, Director of Mental Health Promotion and Prevention of Mental Disorders at the BC Ministry of Health described how mental wellness and mental health promotion relates to physical health. His presentation illustrated how mental wellness is not simply the absence of mental illness but a continuum that is intersected with a scale that ranges between languishing and flourishing. Stephen also described current mental health promotion efforts underway through schools, the workplace and to help new, young families.
Dr. Judith Lynam, research lead for the RICHER (Responsive Interdisciplinary Coordinated Health Education and Research) Social Pediatrics initiative, described the partnerships and structural changes that are built into the RICHER initiative. And how this unique approach is fostering access for a population of children and families with multiple forms of social and material disadvantage.
Our final panelist, Iglika Ivanova described how government transfers, and child tax benefits in particular could dramatically reduce BC’s child poverty rate as well as the depth of poverty in BC. She explained how certain tax benefits such as the non-refundable child tax credit and the non-refundable child arts and sports tax credits do not benefit low income families at all. Ivanova also showed how child poverty could be reduced by 26% if these credits together with the universal child tax credit (which is distributed to all families with children under 6 were restructured and income tested.
BCHLA was pleased to have 78 participants engaged through this webinar.