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Count Me In! Forums on Inclusion and Engagement

An inclusive society is one that creates both the feeling and reality of belonging.

Belonging makes us feel good. It makes us healthy. It makes us want to reach out to others. Belonging makes our communities healthy, too.

Health promotion is the process of enabling people to gain control over the conditions that determine their health.

"Count Me In!", an initiative of the Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse (now Health Nexus), was one of a number of projects on inclusion happening around Ontario. Our forums focused attention on the concepts, research, practice and strategies of inclusion and engagement while building on the tradition of health promotion in Canada. Our purpose in this project was to engage others in raising and sustaining the work of health promotion, with emphasis on the strategies of inclusion and engagement.

Over 2005-2006, we at OPC, along with partners/colleagues, designed forums across Ontario to bring together people from a range of sectors in a series of "Count Me In!" forums to listen and learn -- to strengthen our collective understanding of what it means to change health through meaningful inclusion, to plan for a strong, healthy future. The forums provided the stepping stones to new collaborations, knowledge and actions that support inclusion as a way to improve the health of our communities.

These are the people who were invited to participate in our "Count Me In!" forums:

  • people working in community/public health, voluntary health agencies, settlement or neighbourhood organizations, poverty groups, seniors groups, community coalitions, etc.,
  • people wanting to learn more about inclusion and engagement strategies to change health,
  • health promoters with experience in inclusion modalities,
  • people whose work involves community development, organizational change, advocacy or health education,
  • people who want to explore the opportunities and challenges of inclusion for health.

We hope the forums were just the beginning of a process of transformation that will maximize inclusion in health promotion throughout the province.

For more information please contact:

Peggy Schultz, (416) 408-2249, ext 2231, 1-800-263-2846, ext 2231,

Funding for this project was provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Report Now Available:

Inclusion: Societies That Foster Belonging Improve Health

This paper (PDF, 1.8Mb) is part of a project conducted by the Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse (OPC) during the winter of 2005-2006. It joins the growing body of ideas, research and understanding about the importance of inclusion, broadening the dialogue so that attention is focused on the determinants of health.


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