UNICEF report: Canada's 2013 ranking for well-being of children

Good health begins long before you get to the doctor's office- it starts 'upstream' in our homes, our communities, and where we work, learn, and play. Looking at trends in the health and well-being of our children can help us identify where more work is needed to ensure that everyone has a chance at a happy, healthy life. So how do we rank against other wealthy nations? 

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Upstream thinking from our friends to the south

We're seeing some great examples of upstream thinking from our friends in Colorado. Here's a piece by Sarah Mapes, director of communications at the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved, about the need for upstream initiatives to fight health inequity. 

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A ‘birth lottery’ still determines who gets to live longest, healthiest life

Health starts - long before illness - in our homes, schools, and jobs. All of us should have a fair opportunity to make the choices that allow us live a long, healthy life, regardless of where we were born. Unfortunately, many are not given this chance due to social inequality and a lack of social mobility.

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Rising youth homelessness a crisis we mustn't ignore

Safe, stable, and affordable housing is an essential ingredient to a healthy life. How can we work upstream to ensure that all young people have a safe place to live? 

According to the article below, there are 30,000 to 60,000 youth on Canadian streets on any given day.

"The survey builds upon the rafts of data documenting the adversity that leads to homelessness, violence on the streets and the tremendous difficulty leaving that life. Young people have to swim against the current to move from poverty and marginalization to housing and a good quality of life."

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First Nations Caring Society: Jordan's Principle

Jordans_principle_logo_only.pngUpstream thinking means focusing on the root causes of well-being. We know that many of these root causes require interventions during our earliest years of life. Unfortunately, children who live on reserve have a far more difficult time accessing the services they need to lead healthy lives.

First Nations Caring Society is an organization that provides research, policy alternatives, and support for First Nations children, youth, and families. One of their current projects is Jordan's Principle:

 

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Extending the Responsibilities for Schools Beyond The School Door

Want to see more students thrive in school? Here's a solid list of upstream factors that, addressed proactively, would dramatically improve students' experience of the education system.

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Why we're still living with our folks

Originally published by our friends at Gen Squeeze

Everywhere you look, younger generations are taking the blame for their delayed life choices. “Where Generation Y Is Failing To Launch,” reads the headline of a recent Huffington Post Canada article summarizing the findings of a recent Statistics Canada report on the increasing number of twentysomethings who are choosing to live at home with their parents.

What this article and articles like it fail to point out is that many young people aren’t living at home for the fun of it or because they’re lazy. Many “just can’t leave the nest” – quite simply because they are poor. And this poverty is costly to all of us.

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Avoiding the ‘Trinity Trap’

Originally published by the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Why is it that, when we talk about health promotion, we still get stuck talking about smoking, diet and exercise when we know that social factors have the biggest influence on health outcomes?

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"What will it take to make you disobey?": Erica Violet Lee speaking at Saskatoon Change Makers

"The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that's wrong in the world," Paul Farmer once said.

Drawing on those words, Erica Violet Lee of Idle No More speaks from the heart about her work challenging racism colonialism. Her words will give you goosebumps.

 

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You are about to enter an empowerment zone: Max FineDay speaking at Saskatoon Change Makers

"I don't think I'll ever forget the look on my mother's face when I told her.... I didn't really realize what had happened or the implications of it all until many years later."

University of Saskatchewan Students Union President Max Fineday speaks of his experience growing up in Saskatoon, and how it helped make him a change maker.

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Connect upstream.