woman with children walking

What is “Wellness”?

What do you think about when you hear the word “wellness”? Lifestyle choices? Doctors? Medications? While these things are important, they do not paint the whole picture of wellness.

It is the ability to feel good, live well and be healthy. It helps us thrive, adds quality to our lives and helps us feel fulfilled. Wellness influences our decisions; how we create and learn, spend our free time and work; how we build our lives, families, and communities; and how we connect with each other and contribute to making our province better.

Wellness doesn’t just happen. It begins in the environments we create together – the places where people live, work, learn, and play.  Not all members of our communities have the same opportunities to be well. In fact, our communities can only truly become models of wellness when we create the conditions that will provide everyone the chance to be well.

Why is Wellness Important?

Wellness is about all of the things that support us — as individuals and groups — on an emotional, mental, physical, social, spiritual, occupational, and environmental level. Wellness is different for every person or group. It doesn’t always stay the same and it must always be nurtured in people and communities.

There are many factors and conditions that play an important role in our own health and wellness and help us to be well as a society. Known as the “Determinants of Health”, these factors are mostly outside of healthcare and are often outside of an individual’s control. They include safe social support, adequate income, positive early life experiences, and more.

These Determinants matter not only for us as individuals but also for the collective – everybody around us. Our opportunity to stay healthy and be well is impacted by them every day; we know that communities that bring everyone together to improve the Determinants are home to healthier, happier people.  In turn, these supportive conditions help reduce the likelihood of poor health and improve wellness – making our society better in many ways.

We all benefit when we work together and support accessible programs and activities to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to be well.

So, you can see how the people, places, and conditions we live with and that surround us have a great impact on our ability to be “well”. We are all part of the effort to promote a culture of wellness in New Brunswick. Wellness is a journey we take together.

To learn more about the “Determinants of Health” and how they impact the health of Canadians visit the National Collaborating Center on the Determinants of Health


Factors that Contribute to Health and Wellness

As you reflect on how Wellness is a journey we take together, consider how the following factors influence wellness for people, communities, and our society:

Social support throughout our lives

Strong personal connections with family, friends, and neighbours. Positive social interactions and support where we live, work, learn, and play.

Ability to fully participate in society

Having the opportunities and resources to contribute. Feeling that we are respected, included, have a voice, and that we are heard.

Natural and human-built environments

Healthy, safe indoor and outdoor spaces and buildings to live, work, learn, play, and connect.

Regular source of income and public benefit programs

Opportunities for everyone to not only meet the needs of everyday life — such as secure housing, healthy food, clothing, safe transportation, education, and more — but to thrive.

Free, accessible, and high-quality healthcare services for all

Preventing disease while promoting, maintaining, and restoring health for everyone in our communities and our province.

Opportunities for learning

Reaching the highest level of education desired, learning the skills needed for everyday life, trying new things, and participating in hobbies and interests that are enjoyable and fulfilling.

Good, safe, reliable jobs and working conditions

Respectful and supportive working environments that are physically and psychologically safe, where there are opportunities for skill-building and chances to move into better jobs.

Early life experiences

Positive events and circumstances before birth, in early childhood, and adolescence that shape our experiences later in life.

Experience in society based on gender, race, cultural identity, or social class

A just and inclusive society where all members of our communities have equitable access to what they need, and the opportunity to be healthy.

Please explore our website to learn more about what it means to be well.