Creating spaces that positively impact mental health in Millet

In 2019, Millet, a small rural town, just south of Edmonton, became one of 20 communities to participate in the Alberta Healthy Communities Initiative. This initiative aims to create supportive physical, social, and policy environments to reduce health risks. The Millet Healthy Community Initiative team, made up of committed community members, completed a community assessment that helps identify strengths and priority areas and collectively decided to focus on improving and supporting mental health in Millet.

The Plan

The Distancing Diamond is an innovative community gathering space that allows for social distancing. A diamond-shaped concrete area features 4 park benches placed 2 meters apart. The center area has been adorned with prize-winning art from Millet residents. The artwork featured highlights ways to promote health and wellbeing. Visitors can sit and enjoy beautiful flowers planted in a self-watering planter by Millet in Bloom. There is a ledge around the planter to place plates and/or cups. The Distancing Diamonds commemorate this challenging time and symbolize the resiliency of Albertans.

The Outcomes

The Distancing Diamonds project was made possible by funds from AHS, and the hard work of many community members. Millet would like to acknowledge the many people and organizations that contributed time and resources to the project including SMILES, Millet in Bloom, Millet Town, Food Bank, Millet Library, local schools, Wetaskiwin Ready Mix, Custom Concrete of Wetaskiwin, and artwork posters by WannaSign, Wetaskiwin.

Distancing Diamonds are intended to create awareness about the importance of our mental health, help people feel more comfortable connecting, give residents a peaceful place to relax, and show that Millet supports community wellness. Social connection is crucial for well-being, and this community encourages adhering to provincial recommendations while providing safe, accessible spaces to connect.

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