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  • Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing

  • and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity

  • Itís a basic human right, essential for a long and happy life

  • and something we all strive for

  • At VicHealth, we understand this

  • Since 1987, weíve worked in partnership with organisations, communities and individuals

  • to make health a central part of our daily lives

  • Our focus is to create good health by tackling the conditions that lead to chronic disease

  • and making positive changes to the world around us

  • We call all this ëHealth Promotioní

  • In the last three decades, health promotion has developed into a hugely important area of work across the globe

  • And for good reasonÖ

  • Chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers

  • as well as anxiety, and depression

  • all present huge challenges to the health system as theyíre expensive to treat

  • and burden families and communities through pain and suffering

  • loss of income or productivity

  • Stemming from a complicated mix of risk factors, including lifestyle and behaviours

  • chronic diseases cause half of the deaths here in Australia

  • costing our economy $267 billion a year

  • But the good news is that many of these risk factors can be modified

  • and death and disability from poor health can be prevented

  • Encouraging lifestyle change is one way Health Promotion works to modify risk.

  • But when we look deeper, we see that itís about more than just encouraging lifestyle change

  • There are also more complex, underlying elements that contribute to illness

  • These are known as the ësocial determinants of healthí

  • and they include your income, your cultural background, your gender

  • whether or not you work, where you work, the type of house you live in, your level of education

  • and even the strength of your social support.

  • For example

  • If youíre unemployed, youíre more likely to live in poor housing

  • have limited social support, and thus, are more likely to experience stress, anxiety, depression

  • and youíre more likely to smoke

  • Similarly, if youíre from a culturally-diverse background

  • you may experience racism which can also lead to stress, anxiety and depression

  • Health promotion works to address issues like these by supporting strong social networks

  • advocating for respectful relationships

  • encouraging attitude change

  • developing healthy, safe and supportive communities

  • ensuring research informs efforts and supports good public policy

  • and working to reduce health inequalities

  • In other words, health promotion equals multiple wins

  • For example

  • By developing healthy environments, we work to encourage people to be more active

  • A 5% cut in physical inactivity across the population

  • can save 1,000 lives

  • and has the potential to result in $48 million in health costs annually

  • Or supporting a person who is likely to experience racism

  • through strong social networks in the community

  • we work to prevent risky behaviours such as tobacco use

  • and if we can reduce tobacco smoking by just 4%, we can save 3000 lives each year

  • See, it really can make a difference.

  • At VicHealth, we aim to reduce the significant costs of treating chronic disease

  • enhance economic productivity, bridge the health gap between certain population groups

  • create healthier places for people to live, inform government policy, and most importantly

  • improve the quality of peopleís lives.

  • If youíd like to know more about health promotion and what we do, visit vichealth.vic.gov.au

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing

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Understanding health promotion - A short introduction

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    闕闕 posted on 2017/09/28
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