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Canadian Public Health Association

Concurrent Sessions 7

Thursday 31 May 13:00 - 14:30

ADOPTING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S SEX- AND GENDER-BASED ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK IN PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY: EXAMPLES FROM THE FIELD

Although the Government of Canada has had a long-standing commitment to sex- and gender-based analysis (SGBA) dating back to 1995, the application of SGBA+ in the development and evaluation of public health policies is quite variable. Applying SGBA+ to policy development is important because women, men and gender-diverse people can experience the same health issue differently, or a health condition may have varying impacts on diverse populations. 

SGBA+ enhances policy development in public health by guiding the gathering of information and analysis needed to inform the best public health decisions. As such, SGBA+ is an important consideration for public health, particularly in relation to the Canadian public health policy context in addressing complex public health issues.

The symposium will provide participants with concrete information on the utility of SGBA+ for public health policy development and evaluation. Drawing from specific examples in the field of public health, participants will learn how to apply SGBA+ to their day-to-day public health research, policy and practice settings. 


CHILDREN'S UNSTRUCTURED PLAY: FROM POLICY TO PRACTICE

Presented by: Canadian Public Health Association

Play is an integral part of every child’s healthy development and is embedded in Article 31 in the Convention on the Rights of a Child. Children and youth need time, appropriate space and opportunity to engage quality unstructured, child-led play. Children, however, are moving less, sitting more, and have more limits placed on them in and outside of school. Meanwhile, the prevalence of poor mental health and the use of mental health services have increased among Canadian children and youth.  

CPHA, with the generous support from the Lawson Foundation, has been investigating the decision-making barriers to accessing unstructured play in school and municipal settings. This session will provide an overview of these barriers in Canada, with a comparison to the progress other countries have made in providing access to quality play environments.  An overview of CPHA’s work on developing a toolkit that supports play-related decision-making will be shared. Participants will be challenged to identify how the identified barriers can be addressed in order to make Canada more play-friendly.


CURING THE ZOMBIE CITY: PLANNING FOR HEALTHY COMMUNITIES IN THE SPRAWLING EDGES OF CANADIAN CITIES

“Zombie” cities – places with the same light industrial and office parks – are a necessary land use to support the consumption habits and workplace needs of large Canadian cities. This workshop is intended to provide a practical and interactive setting for public health practitioners to learn about the challenges of planning for healthy communities in these zombie cities. Participants will learn about how the transition from a primarily manufacturing-based economy to service and knowledge-based industries presents an opportunity to construct healthier workplace communities. 

The workshop invites all participants to learn about the techniques, skills, and theories urban planners use to design complete communities. The facilitators will guide participants through a “charrette” activity to redesign an average suburban industrial and office park for better health outcomes within a set of realistic zoning and budgetary restrictions. This is a hands-on session open to those of all skill levels and backgrounds, using LEGO™ and other aids.


SHAPING THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES 

Presented by: Public Health Physicians of Canada

Building on the principles identified in the plenary discussion Health for All and the future of public health, this workshop will delve deeper into the question of “How must public health services be structured to reduce persistent health inequalities and improve population health outcomes, including quality of life, for all Canadians?”

Panelists will discuss what these principles could look like in action and identify potential steps forward. In group discussions, participants will identify additional principles and ways to begin implementation in the current climate of health system restructuring across Canada.


SHARING MITE ACHIMOWIN (HEART TALK): FIRST NATIONS WOMEN’S EXPRESSIONS ON CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

As Indigenous people around the world know, research is a messy and complicated space. In particular research done on (as opposed to with) Indigenous peoples informs the creation of additional colonizing structures through new policy or programs, particularly within health and social care fields. Once data is collected from Indigenous people, sense making and translation is often devoid of Indigenous perspectives or worldviews. When this happens, knowledge or evidence that emerges to inform healthcare practices and programs has been produced outside of, and without a relationship with, Indigenous peoples and knowledge. In this symposium, we reflect upon a community-based digital storytelling study that used oral history and arts-based research approaches to explore culturally-rooted knowledge of heart health among First Nations women. Panelists will share a project of how Indigenous cultures and languages centred the research, resources, education and knowledge translation. Panelists will provide reflections of how public health knowledge production and translation done by First Nations communities, and is inclusive of Indigenous voices, knowledge and worldviews holds promise to transform public health policies and practices (i.e., culturally safe and trauma informed care). 


UPSTREAM PREVENTION OF PROBLEMATIC SUBSTANCE USE, DBJ SYMPOSIUM ON PUBLIC HEALTH

Presented by: Public Health Agency of Canada

With the pending legalization of cannabis, the ongoing opioid crisis and the impacts of alcohol, it is becoming increasingly pressing to turn our attention to address upstream determinants to prevent problematic substance use. 

This workshop will explore the latest evidence and thinking on the prevention of problematic substance use and consider opportunities to create positive upstream influences and protective factors such as resilience, social connections, and childhood attachment. Participants will hear from diverse perspectives of those who have undertaken primary prevention initiatives, to those that have seen the downstream connections between problematic substance use and social determinants of health. This session will both showcase solutions and explore new ideas on a range of fronts to prevent problematic substance use.
 


USING EXPERIENTIAL KNOWLEDGE TO IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH POLICIES AND INTERVENTIONS AMONG VULNERABLE POPULATIONS

The World Health Organization defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”. However, in a recent systematic review of community engagement interventions to reduce health inequalities, only three out of the 319 interventions reviewed focused on mental health. Furthermore, the population approach to health prevention appears to create an “inequality paradox” exacerbating social health inequalities. Innovative strategies common to community psychology could be harnessed in public health to enhance equality in health. 

In this session, an introduction will detail the concepts of mental health promotion, vulnerable populations and experiential (or lay) knowledge. Three presentations will then illustrate concrete examples by describing studies using peer research and mutual knowledge sharing, walk-along interviews, and the Photovoice method. A collective exercise inspired by group-level assessment will enable participants to reflect on how to integrate such innovative methods in their practice as public health professionals.