United Way Perth-Huron’s Social Research & Planning Council released the last two reports of their 2023 Quality of Life series.
“We’re excited to share more of our findings,” said Kristin Crane, director social research and planning for United Way. “People’s mental and physical health, the social environment and the state of the natural environment are important components of how people respond to the community. As with earlier reports, we hope the topics covered and recommendations made spark discussion and offer possible solutions to help us improve life across or region.”
A Healthy Well-Being describes how physical and mental health and social environment affect our quality of life. The communities themselves, and personal connections, are all factors contributing to the safety and well-being of residents. Even though the report talks about the social aspects, adequate income, and equitable access to necessities such as food and housing play a large part in health and well-being.
For youth, technology plays an important role in quality of life. While it is a source of information and social connection, 94 per cent of local youth exceed the recommended recreational screen use which can impact sleep, physical activity and anxiety levels, as well as increase the likelihood of cyber bullying.
Meanwhile, despite having been through a pandemic, people across age groups report a strong sense of belonging in Perth-Huron and relatively high rates of volunteerism, with 46 per cent of people in Perth and 43 per cent of people in Huron volunteering at least once a week. When it comes to safety and belonging, immigrants, racialized and Indigenous people describe feeling less so due to acts of discrimination. There is also an increase in the severity and complexity of gender-based violence cases, another concern for the community.
A Clean Environment looks at how Perth-Huron’s environmental quality of life is faring. Results show the number special air quality statements is on the rise. This is not surprising given the number of wildfires resulting from shifts in temperature and weather patterns, as well as the impact of green house gas emissions.
To read all this year’s Quality of Life Reports, GO HERE.