Put in a public health perspective, the investment in dance workshops is extremely important. Dance is physically demanding. Dance is a preventative measure against substance abuse, gives a sense of achievement and identity, and promotes social networks and participation.
The dance workshop is an non-discriminatory activity, both economically and socially. This is an important reason for why the model works well locally. We have had great success in reaching children and young people from all social strata and nationalities.
Mental health has been an investment area in public health work in Sogn and Fjordane since 1990, and in recent years has also become a similar priority in the national public health policy. In public health work, mental health means having a positive environment and focusing on conditions that affect the mental health of the population. Public health work should contribute to promoting achievement, a sense of belonging, development and growth. A childhood with good conditions for good mental health, quality of life and well-being is important for health later in life. A positive and inclusive environment during childhood is of great value. Being able to participate in meaningful recreational activities is an important part of life for children and young people and is a good source of stability to have in life.
Good mental health and well-being can be strengthened through a society that helps to promote the experience of identity and self-respect (I am somebody, I am worth something), meaning in life (I am part of something bigger than myself, I have a purpose), achievement (I can achieve something, this is something I can do) belonging (I belong to a place, this is a place I feel attached to), safety (I can think, feel and let go without fear), participation and involvement (to be involved in activities relating to other people), community and social support (I have someone to share experiences, thoughts and feelings with. Somebody likes me, cares about me and will help me when needed). (Norwegian Institute of Public Health, 2014: White paper 19 (2014-2015) Public Health Report. Coping and possibilities).