Achieving Health and Wellness: Provincial Wellness Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador

Organization Sponsor: Newfoundland and Labrador, Government - Health and Community Services

URLs: 

Program Description

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is continuing its commitment to improve the health and wellness of the people of the province.

The Wellness Plan focuses on improving the health of the population at the front end of the health spectrum: the goal is to keep people healthy through the promotion of initiatives and support for people and communities. It builds on the foundation of partners, policies, programs and resources and reflects forward thinking needed to effect change in people, communities and policies within a supportive environment. Healthy Communities are those where people work together to support each other. They are the foundation on which the wellness priorities are addressed; key initiatives that support healthy communities include Regional Wellness Coalitions, Provincial Wellness Grants, Baby-Friendly NL , Healthy Students Healthy Schools, and the Healthy Built Environment.

The Wellness Plan is closely linked to the Poverty Reduction Strategy (2006) which provides a comprehensive and practical approach to prevent, reduce and alleviate poverty to further strengthen the ability of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to participate in their communities and lead healthier lives.
Factors that determine health

Social support networks
Income and social status
Employment and working conditions
Social environments
Physical environments
Education level
Healthy child development
Health Services
Personal health practices and coping skills
Biology
Gender
Culture

Program Approximate Cost: 

$2.4 million to support a wellness strategy

Funding Sources: 

Newfoundland Department of Health and Community Services.

Strategies For Sustainability: 

The Wellness Plan pays continued attention to the social determinants of health, particularly those that help to reduce the inequalities in health.
Efforts are made to reach those in greatest need and to build the capacity of communities and individuals to identify and address their own needs.

Impact Of Program: 

In this first phase of the Wellness Plan, the main areas of focus will be on healthy eating, physical
activity, tobacco control and injury prevention. In addition, as new information and resources
become available, actions may be initiated in the other priority areas. In the second phase, the
current actions will continue to be implemented and new actions will be developed in the areas
of mental health promotion, environmental health, child and youth development and health
protection. Other areas for action will include health protection and healthy aging. As the actions
to address the wellness priorities are developed and initiated, they will be based on the evidence
and best practices available at the time of implementation. In addition, the actions will be in
keeping with government’s commitment to address aging, aboriginal and gender issues.

Evaluation Tools: 

Finally, an evaluation plan will be developed to monitor the progress and measure the impact
of our actions in the Wellness Plan. There are some current indicators available; however, other
indicators will need to be developed to measure the current actions and the introduction of
additional actions of the Wellness Plan. A data collection and reporting mechanism will be put
in place to share the progress of our actions with all of our partners in wellness.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

The Wellness Plan reflects a shared responsibility and partnerships for wellness amongst many government departments, regional government structures, provincial and community organizations and individuals.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

To help us become better informed about health and wellness, we need current, accurate and
consistent information delivered in a way that we understand. Sharing health information with
the population is one element of a comprehensive approach that leads to a shift in attitudes and
a change in behaviours which in turn contribute to improved health and wellness.

Currently, in Newfoundland and Labrador, provincial rates for chronic disease including heart
disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes are among some of the highest in Canada. These chronic
diseases are linked by the common risk factors of tobacco use, unhealthy eating, physical inactivity
and obesity. Addressing these risk factors will contribute to improving our overall health. In
addition, we can further enhance our efforts to ensure we stay well and live longer by focusing
on areas such as healthy child development, injury prevention, mental health promotion,
environmental health and healthy aging.

Length and Stage of Project: 

2006

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