Making Life Better: A Whole System Strategic Framework for Public Health, 2013-2023

Making Life Better is NI’s ten-year strategic framework for public health. Building on the earlier public health strategy, Investing for Health (2002), Making Life Better was developed to provide a direction for policy and actions to improve the health and wellbeing of people in NI. It was informed by a consultative process and feedback on the draft framework titled Fit and Well: Changing Lives.  

Through strengthened co-ordination and partnership working in a whole system approach, Making Life Better seeks to create the conditions for individuals and communities to take control of their own lives and move towards a vision for NI where all people are enabled and supported in achieving their full health and wellbeing potential.

Making Life Better has adopted a set of values to underpin the strategy – social justice, equity and inclusion, engagement and empowerment, collaboration, evidence informed, and addressing local need. Based on feedback during the consultation, it takes a thematic approach structured around six themes:

  1. Giving Every Child the Best Start

  2. Equipped Throughout Life

  3. Empowering Healthy Living

  4. Creating the Conditions

  5. Empowering Communities

  6. Developing Collaboration

Apart from Theme 1 which focuses on the health and wellbeing of children, each of the other five themes is relevant to people with dementia and their families. Healthy Active Ageing, one of the key long-term outcomes of the second theme ‘Equipped Throughout Life’, is of particular relevance to older people, including those with dementia. One of the long-term outcomes identified under the theme of ‘Empowering Healthy Living’ is improved mental health and wellbeing. Here, the report highlights the intention in the development of a new positive mental health promotion policy in NI to address two main undertakings in relation to dementia:

  • public health efforts to prevent/delay dementia as far as possible and to encourage early diagnosis; and

  • improving the mental wellbeing of people who have dementia.

A final report on the public health strategy, Investing for Health (2002), referred to above,   can be found at

Making Life Better: A Whole System Strategic Framework for Public Health, 2013-2023