Living Well

Realizing optimal health is a goal for us all. The more robust we are, the more we can achieve what we want in life. Yet vulnerable groups, including veterans, indigenous peoples and people with disabilities generally participate in wellness programs and health screening activities to a lesser extent than the able-bodied population. Too often, the communication of health-promotion and illness prevention messages is inaccessible to disabled persons and other marginalized populations; or health care and health promotion providers focus on an individual’s disability while overlooking societal barriers or his or her fuller health and wellness needs. Added, people who experience mental and psychosocial challenges are often treated negatively in society, thus contributing to alienation, suicides and premature deaths.

What does it mean to live well? The importance of individual responsibility cannot be overstated. This requires access to counselling and services that empowers individuals to take personal action to boost their health and wellness. At the same time, health is an intersectional justice issue and often, health systems reinforce categorizations, human behaviors, and limitations. Disparities in access to health care and wellness programs reflect a growing concern that without access, medical knowledge and inclusionary services, huge swaths of society will not have opportunities to live to their full potential. 

Alienation and marginalization for millions of people is part of our collective past but need not be a part of our present and future. What are we doing now to change direction so that all people have the opportunity to live healthy lives?   We want to hear from you as we shape our investigation of desirable frameworks for developing sustainable health systems and habits for marginalized populations.

We are seeking proposals in the following areas:

  • Proposals that address self-advocacy and systems-advocacy in support of maintaining life balance, managing stress and bolstering health;
  • Innovative research and practices that address holistic indicators and assessments of health such as the ICF which focuses on capabilities;
  • Best practices for integrating mental health services into all health services; employment initiatives, health policies, programs and partnerships;
  • Community health initiatives, which are responsive and culturally appropriate for victims of natural and humanitarian disasters and emergencies;
  • Initiatives, research and best practices as it relates to public health and disability;
  • Collaborative community support mental health models which involve a cross-sector of stakeholders;
  • Person-centered wellness and mental health initiatives;
  • Critiques of the language used in the dominant discourse on emotional well being and health;
  • How the stigma and social marginalization often experienced by persons with mental health challenges can be reduced;
  • International rights-based approaches towards ending mental and physical health inequities;
  • Alternative health models and wellness modalities that have proven to be of significant benefit for people with disabilities;
  • Conceptions and models of wellness as it relates to mental health.

We are particularly interested in receiving presentation proposals from advocates concerning their experiences and recommendations and from international participants providing cross-cultural perspectives.

We welcome all proposals. Please see presentation formats on our webpage at: Please read criteria for each format and ensure that you have the appropriate number of presenters for your chosen format. You may submit proposals online at: or send your proposals via email to:

If you have questions or need further information, please contact the Pacific Rim team at For general information on the conference, please contact Charmaine Crockett at, (808) 956-7539.

For registration questions please contact the registration desk at, phone (808) 956-8816, fax (808) 956-4437.