What is Health Promotion?
The Ottawa Charter (1986) defines health promotion as:
"...the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. To reach a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realise aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment. Health is, therefore, seen as a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasising social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities. Therefore, health promotion is not just the responsibility of the health sector, but goes beyond healthy lifestyles to wellbeing."
Health promotion programs deliver benefits for the community in promoting positive wellbeing, reducing preventable illness and lowering overall health care expenditure.
Local Government Role in Improving and Promoting Health and Wellbeing
Council’s responsibilities in health and wellbeing cover the four environments for health:
- The natural environment eg. pollution, parks, climate change
- The built environment eg. bike/walking paths, urban landscape design, transport options
- The socio-economic environment eg. housing affordability, income security, accessible food, education
- The social environment eg. safety, community connectedness
Therefore, the work of health and wellbeing is relevant to most departments within the City of Casey.
The scope of Council's role in these environments ranges from activities directed at influencing the health behaviour of individual residents such as the provision of services, information and education through to broader social marketing of health messages and wider population approaches such community development/community planning, funding, advocacy, planning, policy, infrastructure provision and regulation.
To achieve health promotion outcomes for the Casey community, local government also works closely with many other community agencies that operate within Casey, such as the YMCA, Community Health, the Cancer Council, and VicHealth as well as various State and Federal government departments.
A key strategic document in relation to health and wellbeing in local government is the Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan. This is a four year plan which provides a framework for ensuring a healthy future for Casey. It emphasises wellness and promotes health in the community rather than focusing on illness or treatment. The most recent plan (2009-2013) was launched in August 2010.
The following are key priority areas:
SafeStart is a community partnership for targeted reduction of child injuries. Unintentional injuries are a leading cause of death for children and are a major reason for hospital and emergency department admissions in Victoria. In Victoria an average of 126 children per day have to visit an emergency department because of an injury.
Smiles 4 Miles
Smiles 4 Miles was a statewide oral health promotion program designed for preschool aged children funded by Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) .