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NEED HELP? Call the FREE 24/7 Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642

This report discusses several elements of the built environment that can impact mental health and wellbeing.

The “built environment” refers to the human-made or modified physical surroundings in which we live, work, and play. Although the built environment may not be directly relevant to your work, this report still might be an interesting resource to review. Overall, to promote mental health and well-being, our built environments should:
• Prioritize safe, complete, clean, and welcoming neighbourhood design
• Minimize traffic noise and offer a variety of commuting options [such as well-maintained sidewalks, multi-use paths, and public transportation if feasible]
• Provide opportunities to view and access green and blue spaces [think parks, trails, rivers, and lakes!]
• Include spaces for accessible community gardens and healthy food retail [like farmers markets]
• Offer a diverse range of high-quality and affordable housing

mental-health-built-environment

Men’s Sheds are an initiative that aims to provide a safe space for men to gather and  connect. The Canadian Men’s Sheds Association (CMSA) describes Men’s Sheds as:

“Men’s Sheds are welcoming, supportive places for friendship and fun. They provide
opportunities for men to socialize, take part in activities, and learn something new. They are places were members can be themselves.

Men’s Sheds can be located in a variety of places, they may be made up of a few men or a
large group, and they may focus on one or more activities.
While locations, activities, and membership can vary from shed to shed, the core vision of
the Men’s Sheds movement is equality and inclusion for all members – regardless of age,
cultural background, ability, sexual orientation, income, or employment status.

Men’ Sheds is a grass-roots, bottom-up movement where the members decide what to do.”

Click here to check out the CMSA Men’s Sheds Toolkit

In many of our training and network discussions, we have heard interest in working to support men’s mental health from a range of perspectives. The linked toolkit from CMSA provides a deep dive into Men’s Sheds including the benefits, barriers, as well as how to start and maintain/grow a Men’s Shed. We hope to offer further information sessions on this topic, so keep an eye out for that in the coming months!

Supporting the intentional engagement of different groups or demographics is a complex but integral component of our community development work. Throughout various training and network events, we have heard many folks express interest in meaningfully engaging youth. Tamarack has co-created a wonderful guide with youth leaders and representatives with diverse youth-serving organizations to share principles and practices that might help lead to meaningful youth engagement.

“Using this guide will help you:
• To consider principles for meaningfully engaging youth
• Learn insights and best practices for youth engagement
• Understand different ways that youth can be engaged in community change
• Think about how to overcome common challenges”

Alberta Health Services provides weekly health and wellness articles to help Albertans live a healthy life; find all archived articles here

Do More Ag is a non-profit that focuses on mental health in agriculture. They focus on bringing awareness, creating community and supporting research in the field. 

  • mental health resources
  • blog

CBC article makes reference to publication in Canadian Medical Association Journal that points to the financial inequities that for indigenous peoples who are living off-reserve and more specifically the need for food security.  

 

The Bell Let’s Talk Toolkit provides tools to help engage others in conversations surrounding mental health and reducing stigma:

  • Conversation Guide
  • Workplace Tips

 

CBC article writes of the benefits of social activities (such as visiting an art gallery or  joining a knitting circle) and the new concept of social prescriptions that practitioners in the UK and Ontario have begun writing. 

Vue Weekly writes about agriculture workers and farmers’ mental health here