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Health Equity - What Can You Do?

Health is determined primarily by where we live, learn, work and play. Income, education, employment, working conditions, the social safety net, and social exclusion are some of the factors that impact the development of healthy individuals and communities. These factors and others are known as the social determinants of health.

Health equity is about trying to decrease the gap between the least healthy and the most healthy so that everyone can achieve better health. So, as a member of the local community, what can you do to promote and support health equity?

 

(1) Watch Let’s Start a Conversation About Health and Not Talk About Health Care At All

Watch the video


(2) Check out different websites

Learn more about social determinants of health and health equity and how they affect our health and well-being. Here are some possible starting points: www.londonvitalsigns.ca, www.londoncyn.ca, www.ifyouknew.ca, www.mlfpc.ca, www.livingwagelondon.ca.


 

 

(3) Take note of how the media presents stories about health

Take note of how the media in all its forms (television, print, radio, Twitter, Facebook) presents stories about health in our community. Are assumptions being made about particular health issues or groups of people? Is there some way for you to respond? Are you ready to take that step?


(4) Reflect on how you think about health.

Have you considered factors beyond individual lifestyle choices? What is your neighbourhood like? Do you feel a sense of belonging there? What kind of recreation is available? Are there opportunities for people to connect with each other? Are there green spaces and how are they used? What about schools and their play spaces? What do some of these factors mean to you and your health?


(5) Start some conversations

Start some conversations with your neighbours, friends and family about the determinants of health. Share some of the information that you have uncovered. What about tweeting about “Let’s Start a Conversation About Health and Not Talk About Health Care At All’?


(6) Join organizations taking action

Consider the possibility of joining organizations that are taking action to contribute to the overall community and its well-being.


(7) Take political action

Attend community events that explore issues such as poverty, food security, and homelessness. Email, call or write your municipal, provincial and federal representatives to determine their positions, as well as to give your feedback about planned actions and policies.

 
Date of creation: February 28, 2013
Last modified on: March 6, 2018

References

11 Solar, O. & Irwin, A. (2007). A conceptual framework for action on the social determinants of health. Geneva: World Health Organization.