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Health in All Policies

Realizing a multifaceted vision of health and well-being such as “Mental Health for All” requires public policies that extend well beyond the health sector. The Health in All Policies approach recognizes that there is a role for all sectors to work together on both the processes and content of healthy public policy.

The World Health Organization’s Adelaide Statement on Health in All Policies (2010) proclaims the importance of coordinated action across government to address inequalities and promote health. A health in all policies approach involves:

  • joined-up (or whole of) government governance and leadership
  • creating strong inter-sectoral alliances that recognize mutual interests, and share common goals
  • meaningful participatory processes to engage stakeholders to share research, resources and wisdom

This strategy is augmented by collaboration within and across sectors.  Key health system stakeholders include health professionals, community and institutional services, consumer/survivor initiatives, public health and citizens.  Other sectors can include community and social services, education, justice, housing, workplace, education, and settlement sectors.

The Ontario government has developed a strategy for mental health and addictions, “Open Minds, Healthy Minds: Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy”, which is intersectoral and inter-ministerial in scope and intended to align with various other Ontario initiatives, including new strategies arising from the Excellent Care Act for All Act, the Poverty Reduction Strategy, Early Learning Strategy and the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy.