There is a direct connection between mental and physical health – from illness to wellness.
Regular physical activity, nutritious food, social connections, emotional resilience and strong foundations in early childhood add up on the positive side of the equation; they impact both mental and physical well-being.
BCHLA sees the importance of integrating mental health promotion into healthy living initiatives.
“[Mental illness] and chronic disease are frequently…affected by the presence of the others. In addition, there is extensive evidence connecting [mental illness] to chronic disease, such as cardiovascular, diabetes, obesity, asthma, arthritis, epilepsy and cancer.”
Factors that protect against mental illness share “many features of positive mental health, such as self-esteem, emotional resilience, positive thinking, problem-solving and social skills, stress management skills and feelings of mastery.”
Studies have shown that by building on those protective factors, it is possible to increase the success of healthy living programming among higher risk populations.
Daycares and early learning programs, schools, workplaces, healthcare and community settings offer opportunities to promote positive mental health within a ‘whole-of-person’ integrated approach to healthy living.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public Hea;th Action Plan to Integrate Mental Health Promotion and Mental Illness Prevention with Chronic Disease Prevention, 2011-2015. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2011.
 World Health Organization (2004). Prevention of mental disorders: effective interventions and policy options: summary report / a report of the WGO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse; in collaboration with the Prevention Research Centre of the Universities of Nijmegen and Maastricht. http:www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/enprevention_of_mental_disorders_sr.pdf