About a Wellness Foundation...
Chronic disease is the leading cause of death and disability in Alberta and has a major impact on the physical, mental and economic health of all residents. The good news is that over 40% of these diseases can be prevented by taking action to reduce risk factors including tobacco and alcohol use, poor nutrition and physical inactivity.
Promoting positive mental health is also a proven strategy for preventing chronic disease. Research shows that evidence-based early childhood interventions designed to prevent adverse childhood experiences will reduce risk for mental and physical health problems later in life. Investing in early childhood to reduce mental health disorders is noted as a “best buy” for promoting positive mental health and an effective strategy for reducing risk for chronic diseases. Adults living with mental illness have a higher risk of developing chronic health conditions, and people suffering from chronic disease are twice as likely to experience depression and anxiety compared to others. Similarly, supporting action to reduce or eliminate risks for injury and chronic disability will reduce risk for chronic diseases and improve quality of life.
Unfortunately, the Alberta Government is spending more than ever before on acute health care, with the majority spent on treating and managing these diseases and conditions.
Prevention and health promotion are chronically underfunded in Alberta; currently equivalent to approximately 3% of the total budget spent on health.
Alberta needs to make new, long-term investments in disease prevention and wellness promotion to improve health outcomes, protect our economic productivity and ensure a high quality of life for all Albertans, now and in the future.
A Wellness Foundation is an innovative and effective model that will ensure new investments:
Wellness foundation diagram
Strategies and focus
Return on investment
Successful foundation examples