Creating Healthy Communities

Healing and Wellness Design

Creating Healthy Communities

Ken JaquesProfile: Ken Jaques is a passionate leader dedicated to creating healthy communities and bringing change to our healthcare system by using a community approach to bring focus and solutions to the root causes of dis-ease and social issues. His knowledgeable insight and willingness to share his experience and hope for others walking the same journey makes Ken a true twenty-first century Community Builder.
With so many social and health related issues being brought to our attention these days, it really feels like it’s time to start doing things differently, but how? Could “working together” be the answer for solving each of the issues within a community?

I think it is the ONLY answer. Consider some of these recent reports:

  • 40% of Canadian adults have one or more of seven chronic conditions (arthritis, cancer, lung problems, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, mental health)
  • An estimated 7.5 million Canadians suffer depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or other mental disorder
  • Autism, allergies, and other autoimmune dis-eases are prevalent
  • 75% of healthcare costs result from unhealthy lifestyles

The current approach trends toward masking and treating symptoms, with little effort focused on determining root cause. We are inundated with awareness campaigns, with special campaigns for many types of cancer, and separate campaigns for a plethora of other diseases. These campaigns urge people to donate money to “find the cure”. Where are the campaigns that raise awareness about what causes these dis-eases in the first place?

In today’s rush, rush, rush society, we have become lulled into a sense of complacency caused by our need for ease and convenience. It becomes difficult to eat healthy, many of us don’t even know what we’re eating. Our lives have many sources of stress, be it in our job, our relationships with family members and friends, and even our own personal self-limiting beliefs. We think illness and dis-ease is simply a fact of life.


A Community Approach to Wellness, Prevention and Healing

I believe that we know what most of the contributing factors are for dis-ease and many social issues, but we’re not working together effectively to solve the issues. Many are waiting for others to solve the problems, often believing they are too small to make a difference, or thinking that nothing can be done.

My vision of a Healthy Community is to raise awareness of the things in our lives that are contributing to happiness and good health. It provides awareness of contributors to illness and disease, and empowers the individual to find their own best way to manage their long-term health. By working together as a community, we can find solutions to the root causes of the problems, and improve the overall health of the community. The goal is to shift the focus away from masking symptoms to a focus on wellness, prevention and healing. It’s about moving away from the “quick fix” approach to learning to identify and deal with the underlying problems.

The leaders of the community create an environment where everyone is encouraged to get involved, empowering each and every citizen to get engaged and make a difference. Projects and community events are created where affected groups come together to understand each other’s role in the problem, and to come up with solutions that are for the betterment of the community as a whole. Companies, schools, societies, charitable organizations, doctors, other healthcare practitioners, local and provincial government are all active participants. All come together to determine root causes of all social and health issues and work together to solve each problem at its core.

My vision of a healthy community is one where a sense of pride and togetherness is prevalent. It is also one where mental health incidence is on the decline, other dis-eases incidence is on the decline, and every member of the community feels a sense of inclusiveness.

Is this your vision? If you’d like to get involved or share your ideas for helping your city become a healthier community, send a note to The answers are there. It is within our reach. If not here, then where? If not now, then when?


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