Vital Signs report now available for download

New Vital Signs report provides snapshot of the quality of life on PEI
Publication is a partnership of the Community Foundation of PEI and UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies

A new report from the Community Foundation of PEI (CFPEI) and UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies provides a snapshot of the quality of life and well-being on Prince Edward Island. Vital Signs brings together publicly available research data, the analysis of subject experts, and focus group feedback from private, public, and not-for-profit sectors from different regions of the Island. The result is an easy-to-digest, comprehensive look at a wide range of interconnected topics from health to housing to education and the environment.

“The 2019 PEI Vital Signs report grew from the knowledge and experience of Islanders,” said Kent Hudson, executive director of the CFPEI. “The Community Foundation of PEI will continue to engage with people who care about their communities and each other to collaboratively build new mechanisms for addressing issues identified in the report. We are excited to be a part of building the collective power of philanthropy and civic engagement in PEI.”

“This report can serve as a roadmap for all of us as individuals and as organizations,” said Dr. Jim Randall, chair of the Institute of Island Studies. “After all, many of the best solutions come directly from the communities themselves. At its core, this report is about how Islanders view their own quality of life: what seems to be working and where we need to continue to focus our attention.”

The authors of Vital Signs selected 10 dimensions or themes of quality of life and well-being used in other studies in Canada and internationally, including health and well-being, people and work, housing, the environment, belonging and leadership, poverty, learning and educational attainment, arts and culture, diversity and getting started, and safety and security.

Across subjects, trends became apparent in terms of a gulf between Islanders’ expectations of public services, such as health, and the actual delivery of those services. An increase in hopelessness about the state of the environment, including climate change and sea level rise, was found, especially among youth. The authors also noted feelings of concern about the ability of Islanders to gain meaningful employment and stay on the Island after graduation.

The outlook isn’t entirely bleak. PEI’s overall economy has been performing well, and the province continues to attract new residents. Islanders also find life less stressful than people in the rest of Canada, in part through a strong sense of belonging to their local community.

Vital Signs is made possible by support from Rotary of Prince Edward Island, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and the Province of Prince Edward Island.

Vital Signs was distributed November 20 in newspapers across the province. For more information or to receive a print copy, please contact the Community Foundation of PEI at info@cfpei.ca.


Beyond the Asylum: 
The Evolution of Mental Health Care in Prince Edward Island, 1846-2017
with Dr. Tina Pranger

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 | 7 p.m. | SDU Main Building Faculty Lounge

The Island Lecture Series January lecture features Dr. Tina Pranger speaking about her book documenting the history of mental health care on Prince Edward Island.

How we as Islanders have historically cared for these people has evolved considerably through a cycle starting with sheltering them at home or in the community, to 100 years of long term institutionalization in the asylum or mental hospital, followed by the growth of community-based services and the movement of hundreds of patients out of hospital and back into the community. Today, Islanders can access a comprehensive spectrum of mental health services that include — but also go far beyond — the asylum/mental hospital. Beyond the Asylum, the first-ever history of mental health care in PEI, richly details this often bumpy evolution of care. This story is an important one for Islanders as it reflects who we were, who we are now, and who we could be in terms of how we care for people who live with mental illness.

Tina Pranger, PhD (Social Science and Health), has over 35 years of experience in the mental health field as a mental health occupational therapist at St. Joseph’s Health Centre and at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto; a professor of mental health occupational therapy at Queen’s University; a researcher and the mental health consultant with the PEI Department of Health; the manager of the Rehabilitation Program, and a mental health officer, at Veterans Affairs Canada. She lives in Stanley Bridge, PEI.

Admission to the lecture is free and everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, please contact Laurie at iis@upei.ca or (902) 894-2881.


Our vision:

  • to be the leading centre of excellence on issues related to island studies scholarship, public policy, and engagement.

Our mandate:

  • To encourage a deep knowledge, understanding, and expression of Prince Edward Island;
  • To serve as a bridge between the University and Island communities;
  • To contribute to the formulation of public policy in Prince Edward Island;
  • To undertake and facilitate island studies research and education at local, national, and global scales.



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