We are celebrating community resilience!

PolicyWise for Children & Families is continuing to celebrate 20 years of impacting meaningful change. As part of our 20th anniversary celebrations, we are sharing stories about our successful projects, both past and present.

Strengthening Community Post-Flooding Mental Health and Well-Being

With climate-related events on the rise, communities could face several significant disasters each year. Investing in strong relationships will help them be prepared and take recovery-oriented actions to support mental health and well-being.

Flooding is the most common climate-related disaster globally. In Canada, flooding events have increased and affected communities nationwide. They can have devastating and long-term impacts on mental health and community well-being.

People standing in front of a flooded road.These effects are most felt by systematically excluded groups, such as:

  • Children
  • Youth
  • Seniors
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • People with disabilities
  • People living in low-income conditions

After a flooding event, mental health and well-being recovery need many people to work together with affected communities. In 2022, we partnered with the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health to create resources for public health professionals and psychosocial emergency responders involved in flooding response and recovery. We shared our findings in two freely available reports. We also gave a public webinar attended by over 300 people across Canada and beyond.

Our key message was that relationships are central to public health efforts supporting community mental health and well-being after a flood. With strong relationships in place, those responding to a flood can quickly mobilize and work toward equitable community recovery. Responders can also reduce reliance on external supports and provide a greater reach among community members, including isolated or systemically excluded people.

This project was sponsored by the Provincial Health Services Authority in British Columbia.

To learn more about how PolicyWise is making an impact and to read similar stories, check out our 2022-2023 Annual Report.