Stories inspire positive emotions and strong communities
For release 14-053
Mar 06, 2014
WHITEHORSE—Twenty-five stories from nearly a dozen Yukon communities have been collected in a new publication called Stories that Inspire: Working Together Towards Wellness. The stories describe activities that promote health, happiness and positive relationships. The project is part of Pathways to Wellness, an initiative launched in 2012 to improve the health and well-being of Yukoners.
The collected stories cover a wide range of activities. These include promoting healthy eating through community greenhouses, preserving cultural heritage through traditional dance, harvesting from the land and restoring historic sites. They support a view of wellness that takes into account physical, emotional and spiritual well-being as well as learning, being productive, and cultivating solid, healthy relationships with others.
“We know that this is only a sample of the good work being done in every Yukon community,” Minister of Health and Social Services Doug Graham said. “It’s wonderful to see what happens when people bring great ideas to life. It truly is inspiring.”
Stories that Inspire also looks at what draws people to healthy activities, and what keeps them engaged and coming back for more. These include volunteer commitment, reducing barriers to participation, and making healthy choices easier. It looks at factors that build stronger communities, including partnerships, mentoring, skill building, and opportunities for employment.
As Pathways to Wellness executive director Paula Pasquali explains, positive emotions are not transient experiences. “Gratitude, pride, joy and awe have long-term impacts on individuals and communities. Their benefits include increased creativity and productivity, openness to new ideas, and acceptance and empathy,” she said.
“Our hope is that these stories will inspire others to take action. Small steps taken by many people add up to big changes in the health and well-being of Yukoners,” Graham added.
The stories were collected by Yukon’s Trish Newport, a student in the Masters of Public Health program at the University of Toronto. Newport travelled to rural communities last summer and visited places where people gather, such as cafés, garages and community markets. The ideas for the stories came from asking people what makes their community a great place to live.
Stories that Inspire: Working Together Towards Wellness at www.yukonwellness.ca/stories.php