Q & A with HEPAC- Anne Cullihall
Anne Cullihall is a manager with the Wellness Branch with the Department of Social Development who manages regional wellness consultants (8 in the province) and coordinates a social marketing initiative called The Wellness Movement. She has a degree in Nutrition and a Masters in Health Management from Australia (University of Wollongong).
There was a movement going on before the “branding” of The Wellness Movement, but it was given an official title in 2011. An idea came about to focus on the assets of NB and the positive things that are happening. The Wellness Movement is based on the goals of New Brunswick’s Wellness Strategy, but a strategy isn’t much without a way to get the message to the people. The Wellness Movement helps people connect to something bigger and connect with others to make change. The Wellness Strategy also helps other organizations (like HEPAC) look at non-ownership vs tapping into a collective goal. The Strategy is a roadmap, and The Wellness Movement helps bring the Strategy to life.
Anyone who is working on any aspect of health and wellness are part of The Wellness Movement. In an “official” capacity, there are over 40 designated/intentional partnerships that are driving the movement forward. This includes the 20 wellness networks in the province (including volunteers working on different aspects of wellness in different areas). There are also several key provincial organizations, including HEPAC, the NB Food Security Action Network, La Mouvement Acadien des Communautés en Santé du Nouveau-Brunswick, La Société Santé et Mieux-être en français du Nouveau-Brunswick , the NB Medical Society, the NB Anti-Tobacco Coalition, seniors organizations and key government departments, as well as individual champions. The Wellness Movement is also talked about as a “hub” for all the individuals who may be looking at resources to make change in their own community to share experiences, successes/challenges and tools so no one has to reinvent anything.
A movement is a group of people coming together to drive forward an idea or a vision. It’s constantly changing, growing and evolving, and when it gets out of control, that’s what you want. There’s no one particular leader and that is the power within this movement. The “seeds” are all out there in the community, the Wellness branch is just coordinating/watering the seeds. A movement connects people, helps themidentify with something and is a way to encourage action around the Strategy goals of creating wellness-supporting environments in their own lives (schools, workplaces, communities and their homes). As compared to a project, which would have an end date, a movement changes and evolves based on the needs of the population.
The Wellness Movement has a current campaign featuring ads on TV with different environments in NB to help people understand how the people, places and other factors in our lives affect our well-being and to inspire people to work to create wellness-supporting environments in their communities, homes, schools and workplaces. If we work together to make sure the environments we spend our time in encourage healthy options for everyone by making them more accessible and desirable, we will see the most rapid change in the health and wellness of our population.
Wellness Week is the first week of October every year, so October 1-7th! There will be hundreds of events across the province so get out and participate or host an activity! There will be radio ads and Facebook ads promoting the Wellness Events Calendar. This will be the 8th annual Wellness week.
Anne’s top 3:
Favourite place: Glass Point, in Bocabec, on the Passamaquoddy Bay at a family cottage! Specifically surrounded by rocky shores and really cold swimming and good food and good people.
Favourite food: Anything Thai but mostly a really good Thai curry (Massaman or Red Thai curry). She’s getting in to Middle Eastern food though!
Favourite activity? Yoga, on and off the mat, so not just for the physical postures but connecting with your soul, your spirit and connecting with yourself. Anne loves helping people find their connection again through teaching yoga!
The Wellness Movement: http://www.wellnessnb.ca/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WellnessNBMieuxEtreNB
La Société de Santé et Mieux-être en français du Nouveau-Brunswick : http://www.ssmefnb.ca/
NB Medical Society: https://www.nbms.nb.ca/
NB Anti- Tobacco Coalition: http://www.nbatc.ca/en/
NB Wellness Strategy 2014-2021: http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/sd-ds/pdf/Wellness-MieuxEtre/NewBrunswickWellnessStrategy2014-2021.pdf
Where Bocabec is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bocabec,_New_Brunswick