10.2 Health promotion

Food For Thought

  • If you had to describe health, how would you describe it?  When you add the word good or poor in front, does your definition change?

Health promotion addresses health inequities by looking at the social determinants of health and the impact of policy development that shapes health. [1]  How can we use health promotion for people/communities impacted by substance use?  “Health promotion in the substance use field works at a broader level than substance use prevention, with the aim of strengthening health, well-being and resiliency, reducing stigma, and addressing the root causes of harmful behaviours”.[2]  This could be through affordable housing initiatives, playground development, school-based nutrition programs and more.  Health promotion benefits individuals as well as communities and can be a strategy for supporting both people who use substances and people with a substance use disorder.

Watch the video An Introduction to Health Promotion and the Ottawa Charter.[3]

10.2A Activities

  1. Look up health promotion activities in your community that target the determinants of health.  What did you find?
  2. What are the activities focused on? (Do they target a specific health outcome?)
  3. Who are the activities for? (Do they target a specific audience?).
  4. Are the activities inclusive?  How?

Health promotion programs look broadly at communities and societies; health promotion programs may target individuals or communities.  For example, harm reduction programs are part of a robust health promotion strategy to support individuals who use substances.

10.2B Activities

  1. Review the Health Promotion and Substance Use Toolkit  Health Promotion and Substance Use Toolkit  
  2. What are the primary goals?
  3. Create a health promotion infographic that targets substance abuse for a particular community based on the social determinants of health. Include a two-page paper (500 words) with research into why this is an issue for this group.

  1. Rootman, I., Pederson, A., Frohlich, K. L., & Dupéré, S. (2018). Health promotion in Canada: New perspectives on theory, practice, policy, and research, 4th ed. Canadian Scholars.
  2. Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. (2014). Substance use prevention and health promotion, (p. 1). https://www.ccsa.ca/substance-use-prevention-and-health-promotion-essentials-series
  3. Let’s Learn Public Health. (2017). An introduction to health promotion and the Ottawa charter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2quVLcJVBk


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Exploring Substance Use in Canada Copyright © 2022 by Julie Crouse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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