Keynote Speaker

Dr. Trevor Hancock

Monday, August 20, 2018, 6:30 pm (open to the public)
School of Sustainable Design Engineering, UPEI

Creating a Mentally Healthy Society: A Challenge to our Whole Way of Life

Dr. Trevor Hancock is a public health physician and health promotion consultant and retired this year from his position as a Professor and Senior Scholar at the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. His main areas of interest are population health promotion, the links between health and global ecological change in the Anthropocene, healthy cities and communities, public health, healthy public policy, healthy and ‘green’ hospitals, health policy and planning, and health futurism.

He is one of the founders of the (now global) Healthy Cities and Communities movement, originated the term ‘healthy public policy’, and has been described as “one of the ten best health futurists in the world”.

He was appointed as a Senior Editor to the Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Public Health in 2014 and in 2015 was invited to join the Editorial Board for a new Journal, Cities and Health. Since December 2014 he has written a regular weekly column on population and public health for the Times Colonist, the daily newspaper in Victoria.

He was made an Honourary Life Member of the Canadian Public Health Association in 1990 and an Honourary Fellow in the UK’s Faculty of Public Health in 2015. In 2017 he was awarded the R.D. Defries Award, the CPHA’s highest award, presented for outstanding contributions in the broad field of public health, as well as a Lifetime Contribution Award from Health Promotion Canada.

Read Dr. Hancock’s article, Look Upstream to Improve Mental Health.


The Roman adage ‘mens sana in corpore sano’ – a healthy mind in a healthy body – needs updating to ‘mens sana in corpore sano in civitatem sana’; a healthy mind in a healthy body in a healthy community. Because our mental wellbeing does not only depend upon our physical wellbeing – which is, by the way, a reciprocal relationship – but on the natural, built, social and economic environments we create in our communities and for that matter, in our society as a whole. 

In this presentation I will explore the roots of good mental health in the settings where we lead our lives – home, school, work, malls and markets and institutions such as colleges, universities, hospitals and prisons – all of which are contained within  neighbourhoods, communities, cities and ultimately our provinces, nations and the Earth.

I will link this to the health promotion strategies of the Ottawa Charter, starting with re-orienting health services, and then proceeding through the development of personal skills, strengthening community, creating supportive social and physical environments, and finally, the need for mentally healthy public (and private sector) policies. It takes a whole community and a whole society to raise mentally healthy people.

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