Health is a condition of psychological, physical and social well being where infirmity and disease are absent. There is no definition of health that is considered universal because the concept of health varies from one person to another. The goal of health is to lead a normal life. In the United States, health education is mandatory for students in public schools. This serves as a guideline for the learning of good health principles.
There are many elements of health. These include physical activities, general well-being, functional capacity, social relationships, emotional health, and ecological health. Practitioners of public health have sought to understand these interrelated concepts in order to design programs that promote general well-being. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 10 universal diseases. The most common of these is chronic pulmonary disease or COPD, which is manifested through persistent coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Other important concepts in the field of public health include social determinants, such as differences in educational achievement or income, as well as determinants of health by context, such as differences in environmental exposure. Educational interventions that focus on these issues have found to be effective in promoting healthy environments for children and adolescents. Programs that use structural barriers to prevent the onset of chronic diseases also show good health effects.
A mental health specialist is involved in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of both emotional and physical health. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses affecting adults. It is diagnosed when a person’s mood changes significantly for at least 2 weeks with the simultaneous occurrence of significant physical illness. Mood disorders are characterized by cycles of depression and mania. Stress, fatigue, sleep disturbance, gastrointestinal problems, and the presence of physical illness can increase the likelihood of developing depression.
Health equity refers to differences in health status or quality of life between the poor and the rich. Indicators of poor health include high prevalence of chronic diseases, low life expectancy, premature death, and lack of access to health services. Indicators of good health include low prevalence of chronic diseases, improved life expectancy, low death rate, greater access to quality health services, and less poverty.
A public health program is focused on preventing health problems by influencing behaviors and lifestyles. A social determinant is any factor that modifies the opportunity to develop healthy behaviors or to stop behaviors that are harmful to the body. Some of the social determinants include poverty, sex, ethnicity, place of birth, age, education, and health behaviors. These factors are included in the criteria for a definition of health care. The social determinants also influence the wellness and the health care of a person.
Prevention and treatment of health disparities is an important aspect of community development. Community development focuses on issues that lead to health equity. Prevention strategies can be designed to deal with existing health disparities or prevent them from occurring. Community development also focuses on bridging gaps in health, teaching the social and mental health to the everyday consumer, and promoting community organization through social marketing.
Community health promotion refers to the process by which public agencies, organizations, and the communities resolve health disparities. The goal of community health promotion is to reduce health disparities by promoting equal access to quality services. In the planning phase, organizations and public agencies to conduct a community assessment to determine where there are health disparities. After the assessment is complete, the plan is implemented and monitoring strategies are put into place.
Community health promotion is achieved by reducing health disparity, one of the most significant efforts towards equity in health. The planning phase aims to identify the problem, set priorities, design programs, evaluate the program effectiveness, and monitor health promotion after the implementation. Community partners such as local public agencies, schools, universities, and NGOs help in the implementation. During the implementation phase, health promotion strategies are evaluated based on their success or failure. Equity in health is ensured by ensuring access to quality health services, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, promoting healthy nutrition, and implementing social determinants of health.
The concept of health education evolved out of the efforts aimed at health promotion. Health education emphasizes preventive measures rather than treating symptoms. It aims at raising the awareness of potential diseases and offering ways to prevent them. The concept of health promotion is also related to the concept of health communication. The promotion of health education and services aims at promoting healthy behaviors and protecting the rights of individuals to choose the methods of health promotion that fit their lifestyle.
The planning phase of community action plans addresses a set of concerns specific to the context of a community. The issues at stake and the degree of change needed for addressing those issues are taken into consideration in the planning phase. The types of changes considered in the planning phase include implementation of policies, development of strategy and plans, monitoring and evaluation of the strategy and plans, use of resources and finance, and identification of target population.