June 12, 2024

Manitoba Blue Cross commissions first-ever Manitoba Index of Wellbeing

Company news
Eight different icons in white on blue background depict the eight domains of wellbeing: a book for education, a clock for time use, a building for democratic engagement, a piggy bank for living standards, an apple with a heart inset for healthy populations, a duck for environment, a group of three people of varying genders for community vitality and a soccer ball for leisure and culture.
New evidence-based report measures overall wellbeing of Manitobans across eight domains

Manitoba Blue Cross has commissioned the first-ever Manitoba Index of Wellbeing (MIW) through the University of Waterloo. This evidence-based report measures the overall wellbeing of Manitobans using eight domains – community vitality, healthy populations, democratic engagement, the environment, leisure and culture, education, living standards and time use – and looks at what can be done to enhance the wellbeing of Manitobans.


“Manitoba Blue Cross strives to be a trusted and essential health and wellness partner to all Manitobans. We continually look at how we can support and strengthen local communities by assessing and addressing wellness needs across the province,” says Benjamin Graham, president and CEO of Manitoba Blue Cross. “The Manitoba Index of Wellbeing can be used to actively enhance the quality of life for all Manitobans by supporting and encouraging community organizations, governments, educational institutions, businesses and citizens to make evidence-based and community-centric decisions that are primarily focused on wellbeing.”


The MIW, an extension of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, looks at Manitobans’ quality of life across nearly three decades, from 1994 to 2020 (most recent available data at time of publication). Based on solid evidence, the report examines wellbeing in its entirety with a holistic viewpoint to identify where inequities exist and to foster more innovative and meaningful solutions that ensure wellbeing for all Manitobans.


“It is our hope that the Manitoba Index of Wellbeing and its findings can be leveraged to foster serious conversations and wellness-focused decision making across organizations and governments in Manitoba,” says Graham. “When wellbeing is at the centre of policy development, it creates comprehensive, innovative and evidence-based policies that can benefit all Manitobans.”


Inequity due to lack of resources and opportunities


Despite economic growth in the province – often seen as an indicator of wellbeing – the index reveals challenges and shortcomings impacting individual and community wellbeing.


While the population-level trends seen in the report are encouraging in some instances and disappointing in others, a persistent pattern emerged across all domains concerning equity – not just in income, but in health, in access to community resources, in fostering social connections, and in opportunities for education and for leisure and culture. Many sub-groups within the population are enjoying the benefits of progress in wellbeing to a much lesser degree – women, racialized populations and Indigenous Peoples are far more at risk of lower levels of wellbeing associated with many of the variables within the wellbeing domains.


People living in more rural and remote regions of the province also are not benefitting to the same degree. In most instances, the major barrier to achieving equity is the lack of access to the resources and opportunities enjoyed by most men, the non-racialized populations, the non-Indigenous population, and those living in more urbanized areas.


“The index truly shows how interconnected the domains of wellbeing are and how each has a dramatic impact on the health and wellness of Manitobans. This report can help us all – as individuals, as leaders and as private and public entities – to support and strengthen the local communities by addressing gaps and opportunities, and celebrating our successes,” says Florent Thezard, wellness program leader with Manitoba Blue Cross, who organized the report on behalf of the organization with the University of Waterloo.


Manitoba Blue Cross is supporting further wellness research in Manitoba based on the MIW. We also recently donated $40,000 to the Winnipeg Foundation in support of their work to foster the health and wellness of Manitobans.


To learn more about the Manitoba Index of Wellbeing, read the full report and hear insights from local leaders about each domain, click here.

Share on