Canadian Hans Kai© Programme

Peer-support health groups

Course attendants hold up their certificates
  • Involves: larger co-op, individuals, Hans Kai materials
  • Context: In 2002, restructuring of the health authorities in 2002 resulted in the ing loss of health services in many smaller (especially rural) communities. The co-operative model of health care delivery is seen as a way of replacing lost services.
  • Cost: ?

Hans Kai© was developed in Japan to help people focus on enhancing their health knowledge, their ability to monitor their own basic health indicators, and their wellness-focused behaviours. By operating in a peer-supported environment Hans Kai© creates or builds on social connections which, according to the World Health Organization, are the primary factor in wellness.

Nor’West Co-op in Winnipeg and Robert Cliche Co-op in Québec brought the programme to Canada. Health co-ops across and beyond Canada that are members of the Health Care Co-op Federation of Canada offer it.

Find out how the Hans Kai Programme was developed for Canada, based on the Japanese Han Groups.

How it works

  • The adult programme starts with 8 – 12 people in reasonably good health who already know each other or have some mutual interests.
  • They complete eight initial sessions, covering both health, goal setting and consensual decisionmaking
  • The group then continues with monthly meetings, using materials and with support from Nor’West Co-op where needed
  • Groups are self-directed with participants deciding collectively how their group runs.
  • Every Hans Kai© meeting must include the four core activities: social interaction, monitoring health indicators, healthy snack, physical activity.
  • Hans Kai© Youth was created and is being used in several versions to respond to the needs of children and teens. The focus is emotional wellbeing.

Further information


Hans Kai© (“group learning”) is a wellness program, run in a peer supported environment, equiping individuals to take the lead in achieving and maintaining their own optimal health.

HCCFC website

Health Care Co-operatives Federation of Canada (HCCFC)