Dr. Ryan Sommers believes information gathered through the Quality of Life Survey could result in positive change.
“It’s a huge opportunity to get specific local data,” said the regional medical officer of health. “It’ll give us a picture of the community we haven’t seen before. I hope it will plant seeds that will bring about change. I’m pretty excited about it.”
The survey invitations will be appearing in the mailboxes of about one in five (80,000) Nova Scotia households, starting this week.
It asks questions related to health, education, environment, vibrant communities, leisure and culture, living standards, democratic engagement and time use.
“It fits in well with public health work,” said Sommers. “I look at the overall health of the community; where the issues are and their underlying causes. Through the survey we can see what’s working and what the challenges are. It will paint a picture of what’s happening locally. We have provincial and regional data, but it’s hard to get local health data.
“It was a no-brainer for me to get involved with this.”
About 800 Colchester County residents should receive a survey package, which includes a code that enables them to answer questions online. Paper copies are available for those who prefer them.
Participation is voluntary, and all information provided will be kept confidential.
“Traditionally, much of the information we have used to make decisions about our daily lives has been based on economic data,” said Danny Graham, chief engagement officer with Engage Nova Scotia, the non-profit organization leading the survey. “Those data aren’t wrong, they’re just incomplete. We think that if we have a more complete picture of how Nova Scotians are doing in all areas that matter to them, we’ll be better equipped to make decisions that help everyone live a good life.”
The survey is administered by the Canadian Index of Wellbeing at the University of Waterloo. Information from the survey will be compiled and reports, including one for the province as a whole and another 11 for regions, including Colchester County, will be prepared.
Those who receive invitations are asked to complete them by July 5.