If you want to get involved in a healthy community, now is the chance.
The North Shore Area Community Health Board is hosting a public event Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. at the North Shore Recreation Centre to share current health priorities, as well as give visitors a chance to speak with various activity groups in the area.
For Ashley Ross and Courtney Nicholson, joining the board is a chance to promote physical activity and preventative steps for a healthier future.
“We all play a responsibility in our own health,” said Nicholson, who joined the board a year ago. “It’s exciting to be relaunching the health board in the community. Tatamagouche is thriving and I believe we all have a large role to play in that.”
As a pharmacist, Ross sees the illness side of things, which has a direct impact on the health care system and, in many cases, the emergency departments.
“It’s about how to get people to stay healthy,” she said. “I feel strongly about prevention and how it can take pressure off the system.”
As a volunteer group under a paid coordinator from the Nova Scotia Health Authority, the community health board’s members help put together a three-year plan highlighting priority areas. At the upcoming meeting, visitors can learn about the four priorities – promote and enhance mental wellness; healthy active living; affordable, thriving communities; and build relationships and foster inclusive communities.
It takes about a year to get the priorities together, engaging with public groups and gathering information from the public.
“We will often shift our focus when we hear from the community or the province as a whole,” said Nicholson. “It comes down to partnerships and the community working together.”
The board also advertises grants available, reviews grant applications and chooses how to divide funding and health planning. Close to $10,000 is available in grants to the community, with deadline for applications being Oct. 15.
While there are some people who don’t know the community health board exists, its current members are trying to inform the community through various means, including the upcoming meeting.
Ross spent some time at the Tatamagouche Farmers’ Market this summer, and talked to many in attendance.
“There was a lot of mention of mental health services, especially for seniors,” she said, adding socialization is a big benefit for seniors.
Nicholson said there’s a large misconception people have, and that it has a hand in the doctor situation in the area.
“That’s not us,” she said. “We don’t have control over that.”
For more information on the North Shore Area Community Health Board, drop by the information session, or contact Mindy LeBlanc at 902-956-1668 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The current Community Health Plan can be found online at https://www.communityhealthboards.ns.ca/chb-health-plans.
North Shore Area Community Health Board’s funding grants:
- Wellness grants are intended for non-profit community-based organizations and projects that support physical health, mental health, nutrition and access to health.
- North Shore area includes Fox Harbour, Tatamagouche, Brule, River John, Toney River, Earltown and everywhere in between.
- Examples of past projects that received funding: youth broom ball program, mental health first aid courses, school breakfast program, public transportation study.
- Projects that match the priorities of the community health plan receive highest priority for funding.
- Deadline for applications is Oct. 15
- Applications available online at https://www.communityhealthboards.ns.ca/wellness-funds