Social Determinants of Health

Social Determinants of Health

Pro at social networking? What about knowing social determinants of health? 

What are social determinants? 

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines social determinants of health as the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.

This means that several factors like income level, race or ethnicity, literacy, access to health care services to meet their basic needs, such as clean water and safe housing, that are essential to staying healthy are Social Determinants of Health. However, they are separate from medical care or a person’s individual lifestyle choices.

 Social Determinants of health can be categorised into five main domains namely:

  • Economic Stability
  • Education Access and Quality
  • Health care Acess and Quality
  • Neighbourhood and Civic Environment
  • Social Environment and Community

Economic Stability

People with a regular, stable job and steady income are less likely to live in poor conditions and are likely to be healthy. People with a steady income can provide for food and accommodation with basic sanitation facilities ticking off the basic non-medical determinants of health. Though at times people with regular jobs may not be able to meet their daily needs of food and sanitation or people with disability, injuries or some health issues may not be able to provide for their daily needs. So, economic or financial stability is one of the most important factors in the social determinant of health.

Education Access and Quality

People with higher levels of education are more likely to be healthier and live longer. Better Quality Education leads to better opportunities and higher-paying jobs

Children who do not have access to good schools or may face some kind of social discrimination in school or the simple stress of living in poverty can affect the child’s mental health leading to serious consequences on reaching adulthood. At times families are unable to pay for the college fund or schooling, making it harder for them to excel in life. Interventions to help children and adolescents do well in school and help families pay for college can have long-term health benefits.

Healthcare Access and Quality

This is by far the most significant factor contributing to social health determinants. In third-world countries, basic access to health care facilities is lacking. Getting cancer screening or ultrasounds is not even heard of. Basic medicines, clean bandages or supplies, even vaccinations are not available. Coming to the first and second world countries, at times the medical facilities are so expensive that they are out of reach for a common man. Cheap medical facilities come with compromised quality. Interventions to increase access to health care professionals and improve communication in person or remote areas can help more people get the care they need.

Neighbourhood and Civic Environment

The neighborhood people live indirectly impacts their mental and physical health. Healthy people pivot on improving health and safety in places where they live, work, play, and learn. A neighbourhood where there are a high rate of crime, violence, or lack of water or other health and safety risks affects the overall health of an individual. On the other hand, a conducive environment impacts an individual positively thereby increasing his health index.

Social Environment and Community

An individual’s relationships and interactions with friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, and other community members also contribute to the health of the person. Many people face challenges and dangers they can’t control discrimination or bullying. This can hurt mental health and safety throughout life. Social and community supports can help reduce the negative impacts of neighborhood factors. For example, positive relationships at home, at work, and in the community can help reduce stress levels, which reduces your risk for health problems such as high blood pressure. But some people like children whose parents are in jail and adolescents who are bullied may not have many positive relationships to help. Interventions to help people get the social and community support they need are critical for improving health and well-being.

Many public health experts say that people’s overall health is affected more by the conditions in which they live than by genetics. Where a person is born, lives go to school, and works are what experts refer to as social determinants of health. These factors influence the opportunities a person has to eat a nutritious diet, have a good education, live and work in a toxin-free environment, access healthcare, and more.

For physical, mental, or emotional help for your child, we at Care For Your Child are deeply committed to taking care of them at every step of the way.