Making The Connections: Our City, Our Society, Our Health

what is good health and how do we move toward a healthier future many Canadians believe that a good health care system is the ticket to health good health is more than just doctors drugs and hospitals health care is what we access when we're already sick some of today's most prevalent health care issues include heart disease diabetes childhood obesity and depression but what are the causes of these issues how often do we talk about what happens before the doctor let's look at the underlying differences between healthy and unhealthy societies starting with the facts although immigrants arrive healthier than people born in Canada their health generally declines over time people with low income are more likely to report poor health neighbourhoods were good transit healthy food and public services are difficult to access are more likely to have higher diabetes rates why is this the case how do we move toward a healthier future to find out we need to step outside of the health care system for a moment and taking the big picture after all health care is what we do when we're already sick let's look at the root of the problem because changes at the roots benefit us all no matter who we are we're talking about things like where we work play eat and live we're talking about the social determinants access to healthcare is an important social determinants of health but there are many others that are just as important some that might surprise you working a secure job with benefits feeling part of a strong and vibrant community living in a safe affordable home living in a neighborhood that is easy to get around in with parks and community spaces accessing healthy and affordable food and having opportunities to pursue education our health and well-being is shaped by our daily lives and how our economic and social conditions affect us these conditions don't work in isolation in fact they're all connected like a big complex web let's start making the connections access to education means gaining skills to find employment a good job that pays well means you can afford to pay your rent and your bills having more affordable housing also frees up money for good and healthy food safe well-connected streets in our neighborhood make it easier to get where we need to go and back home again when all of this is available we can better connect with our neighbors and communities for parents these also mean helping their kids do better in school and let's not forget access to health care we've only mentioned 7 determinants here but there are many others what about racism sexism and culture what determinants play a role in your health because the social determinants of health are so closely connected one change can trigger many others that affect your health if every kid had access to healthy food and a safe home imagine the difference it could make to their education and their health over time the connections and the possibilities for good health are endless so from small changes in your neighborhood like clean well-lit parks to big steps and government policy like a national housing plan we can start making the connections to a healthier community a healthier City a healthier society a healthier you you

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