Health Promotion Strategies

Health Promotion strategies emphasize “upstream” approaches that work to address root causes of poor health by changing the conditions and environments in which people live, work and play. Health Promotion strategies by their very nature are interrelated and complement one another and to other initiatives in other programs, disciplines and sectors.  Effective health promotion strategies are multi-faceted, long term and often require multi-sectorial partnerships and strategies.

Key Health Promotion Strategies

  1. Strengthening Community Action

Health promotion works through concrete and effective community action in setting priorities, making decisions, planning strategies and implementing them to achieve better health. At the heart of strengthening community actions is the empowerment of communities. Communities will have ownership and control of their own endeavours and destinies. Strengthening Community Action is also called Community Development – building on community strengths and engaging communities in local action to address their needs.

  1. Creating Supportive Environments

It is important to create safe, satisfying, nurturing and healthy environments in which people live, learn, work and play. The environments we live in are complex and interrelated and good health cannot be separated from other goals. Changing patterns of life, work, education and leisure have a significant impact on health. Work, education and leisure should be a source of health for people.

  1. Building Healthy Public Policy

Health promotion puts health on the agenda of policy makers in all sectors such as education, social services, justice and health, as well as First Nation leadership. This means that all decision makers need to be aware of the health consequences of their decisions. Healthy Public Policy requires the identification of obstacles to the adoption of healthy public policies in non-health sectors, and ways of removing them. The aim is to make the healthier choice the easier choice for policy makers.

  1. Developing Personal Skills

Health promotion supports personal and social development through providing information, education for health, coaching and enhancing life skills. This will give people the skills needed to have more control over their own health, their environments, and to make healthy choices. Personal skills to support life can be learned at home, school and community settings.

  1. Reorienting Health Services

Health Care has traditionally focused on providing clinical and curative services. The role of the health sector will shift to include a strong health promotion component. Health will have an expanded mandate to support the needs of individuals and communities for a healthier life.