Social Determinants of Health Essay

1139 Words Mar 2nd, 2011 5 Pages
According to the dictionary, the word health is “the state of being free from illness.” At a first glance, this defination seems to be very direct and simple, however the meaning of the word ‘health’ nowadays is much more complex. The above definition pretty much sums up our view of health in the first half of the 20th century.
But over the past few decades, the definititon and concept of health has evolved to encompass more elements than just the physical well-being of a person. This is partly attributed to various researches and studies that have taken place around the world in the last 60 years. Already in 1948, the World Health Organization declared that health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not
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Furthermore, these determinants do not exist in isolation from each other. In order to propogate the knowledge of above determinants and improve health status of Canadians, Health Canada has set up a number of community heath organizations and agencies. The work of these agencies can consist of creating awareness, improving socio-economic status, advocating better working conditions and so on. Unfortunately, many groups such as aboriginal people, recent immigrants and people with disabilities experience challenges in accessing these resources and still cotinue to lead an unhealthy life. One such non-profit agency whch provides opportunities for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities is located on Stewart street in downtown Peterborough. This agency helps people in developing skills in the area of volunteerism, recreation and community service. They also provide support for people with barriers to employment through an employment service program. Therefore, one can say that this agency deals primarily with social determinants of education, employment and social support networks. Education is an important social determinant of health because it affects many other determinants. Generally, people with worst health status have low education levels. Furthermore, people with low levels of education are more likely to have lifestyles which can lead to a chronic illness. Education empowers people with skills to
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