This information guide highlights the ways local governments impact the mental wellness of children and youth and describes the roles, assets, and mechanisms within local governments that promote well-being for this age group. The guide includes research, examples, and resources to inform and inspire the strengthening of local governments’ awareness of how they impact these citizens and how to support action in this realm for optimal social outcomes.  


The introduction section in the guide gives a brief overview of how local governments influence the mental well-being of children and youth within their scope and existing mechanisms, how local governments benefit from this, the critical role of quality adults in young people’s lives and the importance of reducing disparities.  

Given that all local governments have different resources and work within different contexts, there is also a section on “where to start” to provide those at the beginning of this journey suggestions for where to put their initial focus, as well as to remind those in the midst of the journey of some key foundational components that are needed to ensure the most effective outcomes.  

Protective Factors: 

The four Protective Factor sections in this guide look at factors that promote child and youth mental wellness, focusing on realms that local governments significantly influence and realms that were either negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or highlighted during the pandemic as particularly strong protectors of young people’s well-being.  

Download the full document here and navigate to each protective factor by clicking on the tabs along the right-hand side. If you are interested in one protective factor in particular, you can access each one individually below:  

What? Why? How?  

Each of these documents/tabs will explore the “what,” “why,” and “how” of each protective factor. The “how” is meant to stimulate thought and discussion and provide inspiration rather than prescribing actions. Actions taken by local governments are dependent on their local context and on their priority issues, opportunities, available assets, and what has been tried in the past.  


Lianne Carley, Senior Policy Lead, Vancouver Coastal Health:  

Or BC Healthy Communities:  

Info Session  

To learn more about the guides, sign up for one of our info sessions from June 12, 18 and 27. Complete the form and you will be sent a Zoom invitation when the sessions are finalized.