Rural Health and Wellness

Awareness Builds Connection in Dementia Friendly Communities

Introducing the Rural Development Networks latest pilot project! The ABCD project  aims to destigmatize dementia and raise awareness around dementia prevention while also supporting rural Albertan communities in the implementation of a dementia-inclusive initiative.

Rural Cannabis Outreach Program

Funded through Health Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program, RDN's Rural Cannabis Outreach Program aims to educate youth (Grades 10-12) in rural communities on the health risks associated with cannabis use/consumption during adolescence and young adulthood. This outreach campaign will reinforce Health Canada's health and safety messaging about cannabis use and associated risky behaviors. RDN works with local community partners and their high schools to curate informational/educational exhibits that will equip youth with the resources and tools to make informed decisions regarding cannabis consumption.

Our approach is through the creation of an exhibit that showcases narratives, facts, stats, and harm-reduction based information where students can interact with research-based materials in a ‘fun’ manner. Harm reduction acknowledges that people use substances. The goal is to minimize the harms and risks of use rather than ignoring or condemning it. A recent study out of the University of British Columbia and the University of Calgary identify that youth prefer harm reduction messaging, which is what we found in our focus groups.

RDN is now offering our “Clarity on Cannabis” virtual and physical exhibit for organizations to sign out and display!  Both exhibits include activities and questions that promote awareness and reliable information on cannabis for youth in grades 10-12. For our physical exhibit, we are happy to work with you to arrange for pickup from our home base in Edmonton so that it can be kept for use in your community for anywhere up to one month. OR, take a virtual tour through our exhibit to learn more about how cannabis affects your health in a digital environment.

Interested in learning more? Please contact Kelly at kellyp@ruraldevelopment.ca and she would be happy to tell you more about the details!

Becoming an Age Friendly Community

What does it mean to be a recognized age-friendly community? We’ve worked with communities in Alberta and Ontario to build and implement age-friendly action plans. Looking at the eight domains of age-friendliness and working with local seniors, stakeholders, and town councils, we discover what areas of a community are age-friendly and what needs improvement. The goal is to ensure rural communities are accessible for all people, of all ages, and of all abilities and disabilities. The answers are often within the community and we help facilitate community engagement,

Anti-Ageism Programs

We have completed a variety of projects that aim to end ageism and dispel myths about Canada’s aging population. We work alongside seniors and support groups to provide age-friendly initiatives that end social isolation, create conversations about aging, and create an inclusive community for all.

Capacity Building

We can help to identify community leads, work with non-profit and government agencies to gather community-specific data, and assist in proposal writing and program/project management. Our team has expertise in holding dialogue on health and wellness issues and coordinates with a variety of agencies to tailor programs specifically for your area - including gathering relevant feedback from focus groups and stakeholders. We will provide assistance in data collection, through survey creation and delivery, data collection and analysis, and report writing.

    For more information, Please Contact:

    Linda Bernicki