For Experts

  • Many people and agencies have different understandings of the word “wellness.” 
  • The First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework (FNMWCF) defines mental wellness as a balance of the mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional (Health Canada and Assembly of First Nations, 2014). This balance is enriched when individuals have: Purpose in their daily lives whether it is through education, employment, caregiving activities, or cultural ways of being and doing; Hope for their future and for those of their families that is grounded in a sense of identity, unique Indigenous values, and having a belief in spirit; a sense of Belonging and connectedness within their families, to community, and to culture; and finally, a sense of Meaning and an understanding of how their lives and those of their families and communities are part of creation and a rich history. 
  • There has been much overlap between the words “wellness,” “health,” and “well-being,” including using the words interchangeably. 
  • The Veterans Affairs Canada well-being framework enables separation of words this way:
    1. Well-being: defined as in the VAC composite, superordinate type of framework.
    2. Health: a domain of well-being, influenced by and influencing well-being in the other domains.
    3. Wellness: ways of living to achieve good well-being, particularly in the health domain.

For General Public

  • Many people and agencies have different understandings of the word “wellness.” It is unlikely that a consensus definition is possible at this time.
  • The First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework (FNMWCF) defines mental wellness as a balance of the mind, body, soul, and emotions. In this framework, mental wellness is enriched when a person has purpose, hope for their future, a sense of belonging, and a sense of meaning.

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