Community Health Boards partner with community agencies to promote winter wellness activities

A group enjoying a snow shoe hike on the Mi’kmawey Debert Interpretive Trail, part of the Winter Active Day.

 

TRURO, NS -- Community Health Boards in the Northern Zone are partnering with Recreation Nova Scotia, Canadian Mental Health Association, and municipal recreation departments to inspire and promote local access to activities that enhance healthy active living and support mental wellness.

Beginning in January, and continuing through the months of February and March, Northern Zone Community Health Boards (CHBs) in partnership with key stakeholders are working collaboratively to promote and offer a variety of activities that encourage physical activity, outdoor play, social connection (following COVID-19 guidelines) and mental wellness. 

These activities included community-wide outdoor winter wellness challenges, winter activity guides, guided hikes, family skates and online challenges just to name a few! This initiative has provided an opportunity for CHBs to strengthen existing partnerships, as well as develop new ones while also advancing work within two of our community health plan priority areas: Mental Wellness & Sense of Belonging and 2) Healthy, Active Living.  

According to data, 80 per cent of adults (18+) and 65 per cent of youth (5 to 17 years old) do not get the recommended amount of physical activity per day. In addition, one in three Canadians will experience mental health issues or illness in any given year. Data Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table numbers: 109-5337, 105-0547, 105-0509 Census of Canada; 2012-13 & 2014-15 Canadian Health Measures Survey). The link between physical activity and mental health is clear; and CHBs in the Northern Zone are pleased to collaborate with organizations that share similar priorities.

"The opportunity to collaborate with our Northern Zone Community Health Boards, municipal recreation and our Colchester East Hants Branch is a mental health and wellness win for communities across Nova Scotia. And in the spirit of collaboration, with the goal of better mental wellness for all, CMHA-NS Division will be challenging other zones and communities to get involved and share their winter wellness activities with us so we can grow this initiative," said Pamela Magee, Executive Director, CMHA - NS Division

“During the winter months, we tend to stay inside more, socialize less, and move less. But being active during these months can be effective in improving our overall health, fitness, and happiness. Having local community health boards partner with Recreation Nova Scotia and Canadian Mental Health in a collaborative effort, will help us set bigger challenges, create more awareness, and schedule more activities across Nova Scotia,” said Joel Taylor, co-chair of the Truro and Area Community Health Board

“Physical activity is an important part of good mental health. Regular activity means a better sleep, improved mood and increased confidence. Others have been able to decrease medications. Everyone has mental health, and this has never been more important to understand than during this time of COVID. By joining efforts these community organizations are demonstrating the importance of encouraging healthy lifestyles, including positive mental health. By combining efforts they can ensure maximum awareness of existing safe opportunities to be active and connect with others,” said Susan Henderson, Executive Director, CMHA – Colchester East Hants

“Take the Roof Off Winter is our winter active campaign that helps Nova Scotians of all ages improve their health and quality of life by being active during the winter months. We’re thrilled to be partnering with the community health boards in the Northern Zone to spread the word of the importance of outdoor recreation with an interactive and educational campaign. Being active outdoors during the winter months has positive impacts on our physical and mental health. It helps relieve stress, improves sleep, and boosts your overall mood. So, enjoy winter and try to make outdoor winter activities a regular part of your day – you might be surprised at all of the great benefits," said Jacqualine Sommers, communications assistant, Recreation Nova Scotia

Contact your local community health board for more information on how you or your organization can get involved at www.communityhealthboards.ns.ca/find-your-chb.   

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Social Media Links:  

Active East Hants
Colchester East Hants Community Health Boards
CMHA – Colchester East Hants
Truro Parks & Recreation
Colchester County Recreation
Recreation Nova Scotia

Media contact:  
Jimi Kaye , Manager Public Engagement and CHB Support, Community Health Board 
Phone: 902 890 8274
jimi.kaye@nshealth.ca