We can’t rely on individual willpower, genetic mutations, or luck to achieve better health and wellness for all Yukoners.
We know that we need to change the physical and social environments in our homes, workplaces, schools and communities so that healthy choices are the easy choices to make. Too often it’s the other way around. Grabbing a bag of chips is easier than preparing a handful of cut-up vegetables. Driving to the store is almost automatic, even when it’s within walking distance. It’s easy to lose track of time in front of a computer or game console, and then be hard pressed to find the time to cook healthy meals, be active, or spend time with the people that matter most.
We also know that individuals, businesses, service clubs, all levels of government, faith communities and non-profit groups all have a role to play. Changing behaviour and community norms is complex, difficult and takes time. We need all hands on deck to build momentum and create a movement!
Countries around the world are taking action to promote the health and wellbeing of their citizens. We can learn from what others have done, but we also need to find solutions that will work for Yukon people, families and communities. A good starting place is to look at the lessons learned in other parts of Canada and in other countries, and the research on what makes a real difference in the lives of people.
Drawing: Paths to wellness
Have a look at this colourful graphic that illustrates the six dimensions of wellness, the key influences on our health, the wellness gap and what works to improve wellness. This picture was created for Pathways to Wellness by graphic facilitator, Avril Orloff.