Public Health Promotion and Education

Health is a condition of mental, physical and social well being in which infirmity and illness are absent. Various definitions have also been applied for different medical purposes over the years. Some people correlate health with physical well being while others see it as a state of mind or emotional well being.

Health maintenance is the active process by which we maintain our health and contribute to the well-being of others. The active process may be as simple as eating right and keeping ourselves fit. However, the important thing is that we do something to maintain our physical, mental, and social well-Being. It is important to take care of our mental and physical wellness in order to achieve wellness.

Health Equity: Health Equity refers to differences in health care between people who experience different types of discrimination and those who do not. Health Equity may result from a difference in access to services or in the quality and cost of those services. For example, people of color and women may be more likely to experience health equity than their white and male counterparts. Factors that impact health equity include age, gender, socioeconomic status, health status, ethnicity, and place of residence. One challenge for improving health equity is creating policies that address the needs of people who have historically been affected by health disparities.

Public Policy and Community Planning Phase: The primary objective of this phase is to address the current health disparities as well as planning strategies for reducing health disparities in the future. This stage recognizes that not all communities are created equal and that some places are more or less health unequal than others. For example, poor areas have higher rates of death from heart disease, cancer, accidents, suicide, and substance abuse; whereas, wealthier neighborhoods have lower rates of these diseases. To improve social determinants of health, the United States government has allocated funding to local jurisdictions to implement public policies and programs addressing health disparities.

Public Policy and Program Development: This is done to make sure that programs designed to promote good health become permanent lifestyle changes. Programs are also developed to integrate social determinants of health so that health behaviors can be modified. Also, efforts are made to build awareness and understanding of the social determinants of health among people at all ages. These efforts promote better health and prevent diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and osteoporosis.

Promotion and Education Phase: The ultimate goal of health promotion and education is to decrease the prevalence of diseases through behavioral change. In this phase, a variety of health behaviors are targeted so that they can be developed and maintained. Public policies establish priorities that promote healthy living, promote physical exercise, provide information on unhealthy behaviors, provide information on stress reduction, establish national goals for promoting healthy diet and nutrition, provide information on tobacco and health, and develop national standards for health communication.