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Effective health promotion or education issues - Essay Example

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Effective health promotion or education issues

What is health promotion In brief, health promotion is usually either a government initiative or commercial idea to make people aware and responsible for their own health. This can be approached by many methods such as providing information about health risks and hazards, by getting people to participate in learning techniques or organizing individuals to act collectively in order to change their physical and social environments. Before the theories and definitions of health promotion can be looked at the concept of health must be understood. A concept can be defined as an idea, or mental image of reality, it is the building blocks and elements of a theory (Rodwell 1996). Definitions of health arise from many different perspectives. For some individuals the definition of health is the absence of illness or disease. This definition sends powerful signals that health is about not having a disease. This view that health is the absence of illness or disease, and that medical treatment can restore good health has been criticized because the word health is actually derived from whole, and healing giving rise to the idea that health concerns the whole person (Naidoo & Wills 1994). This definition of health is multi-dimensional, in that it is not solely concerned with physical health, but also addresses mental, social, emotional and spiritual health (Kendall & Latter 1997). This is in keeping with The World Health Organisation (WHO 1946) definition of the concept of health as "Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Health is subject to wide individual, social and cultural interpretation. Individuals experience health and illness, but it is through influences such as culture, class and gender that the experiences are shaped. Images of health are also built on media messages and prevalent ideas about health rights, levels of service, access, awareness and so on. These images of health also include social expectations about what it means to be healthy in a particular society. The nature of health is that the different aspects are inter-related. Some authors, namely Aggleton & Homans (1987) and Ewles and Simnett (1992) believe that health is holistic and one must take into account the different influences and interactions of the different dimensions. The dimensions that they discuss are an inner circle of physical, mental, emotional, social, sexual and spiritual health. This is surrounded by two outer circles of the broader health dimensions, namely social and environmental factors. The social factors link to the structure of society and the link with health, for example, the infrastructure that is required. The environmental aspect takes into account the environment in which individuals live, including housing, sanitation etc. Indeed social advances in living conditions such as improved sanitation and nutrition have been responsible for most of the reduction in mortality rates in the last century ( McKeown & Lowe 1974). However, whilst mortality rates have reduced, the inequalities in health between social class has in fact risen. Naidoo and Wills (1994) argue that one reason for this is that the "distribution of health mirrors the distribution of material resources within society". Britain has inequalities in wealth and income, which are associated with inequalities in health (Townsend et al 1988). The government are aware of the continued inequalities in health and have therefore developed the "Our Healthier Nation" initiative that has the two key aims of increasing life expectancy by reducing ill health and tackling the inequalities ...Show more


The Labour Government plan to achieve this through it’s public health policy in a “third way” (Connelly 1999). Labour’s policies are aimed at strengthening communities, and encouraging individuals to seize opportunities and take responsibility for their action…
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Effective health promotion or education issues essay example
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